Indie Recordings 2013
One of the most mysterious artists to be spawned by the recent Norwegian metal scene is purveyors of blackened and enigmatic doom, Altaar. Their debut album was a looooong time coming, but I must say it was well worth the wait. This album is two tracks of occult doom that borders on a religious experience. The opener, Tidi Kjem Aldri Att begins in a light, yet forlorn mood with expansive riffs that at times reminds me of modern Earth material. The unhurried and soulful guitars that warble in the desert heat drift on and on with minimal drumming to underpin the song's movement. The pace quickens and the darkness grows as the riffs thicken and drone on. At the 8:40 mark the riffs turn a bit more blackened and blend the boundaries between black metal and post-hardcore. Monstrous riffs rise from a period of astral guitar and synth, like elder gods lurking on the fringes of the universe. Essentially the last 3 minutes of the song are resonating synth and distant pounding thumps that lead your mind off into oblivion. Dei Absolutte Krav Og Den Absolutte Nade is the second half of this spiritual duo of song but in many ways is very different from its predecessor. This is especially so because this composition has vocals. And they are tortured and strained, a perfect complement to the languid black metal riffs that rhythmically flow outwards from your speakers. After a long period of hypnotic stellar synth you are steamrolled over by circular drumming and sinister, yet forlorn riffs. The guitars yearn upward and begin reverberating with sorrowful nostalgia around the 6:10 mark. We are then swept under once more by those suffocating, doomy black metal riffs. The composition then moves into barren and introspective wanderings in the badlands of the heart. The final movement of the song is a complete mental obliteration by noisy feedback, white noise, and washed out, yet morose clean guitar. Altaar have crafted an artistic and moving odyssey that delves into the desolate deserts of your heart and then blankets them under a clear nightsky where abyssic, pulsing stars glare down upon you with their cold and distant malevolence. This is a spiritual album.