Review in Retrospect | Nortt - Galgenfrist (Avantgarde Music)

This is the first of (hopefully many) reviews in retrospect - because sometimes it's not just about what's coming up, but what you might have missed. If you haven't heard this band, imagine a cold and void landscape. Imagine feeling completely alone. Imagine death itself. Add those together and you get Nortt.

This album was released in January 2007.

Imagine a cold and void landscape. Imagine feeling completely alone. Imagine death itself, add those together and you get Nortt. Not much is known about this man as he has only ever given a handful of interviews and is very reclusive; his work is small but soul crushing and, to me, is a perfect example of a solo project. Galgenfrist is the third offering of depression, sorrow and death.

Nortt must have some special dark place that his music ideas come from and wherever it is he can't get enough of it. One thing on Galgenfrist which is more prominent to his previous works is the use of ambient keys which set the album up to spiral downwards into everything negative than anyone could possibly imagine in music.

Quite fittingly the title track is where it all begins, an ambient track which filled with haunting ambience that it feels like it is sucking everything from you. The keys work to create a very dry and empty landscape surrounded by a wave of mist, where your last hopes and dreams begin to decay.

The lyrics (as Nortt calls them "Sermon of the deceased") are a very simple expression of death and despair and are drowned by the sound of the elements in the album that they creep up on you and complete a small part of the journey, the keys have a very strong force on the recording. The key parts in Af Døde and Havet Hinsides Havet especially feel very cold and lifeless. The guitar has a very buzzy sound to it that if you are new to this genre can get irritating; the drums, which average around at what seems like a slow 10 bpm are mournful; but it is the ambience and the vocals that haunt you the most as they tend to appear out of nowhere.

Galgenfrist is death, it is depression, it is sorrow, but yet it is beautiful and perfect in every way, shape and form. Nortt has accomplished what he set out to do in forty seven minutes of pure despair. The only question that remains is will you follow?