Formloff      

Spyhorelandet
Eisenwald
2012

After the controlled lunacy of their debut album six years ago Formloff return with an album that is somewhat of a different beast.  Discordant notes, dreamlike and ethereal usher in the album's first track, Det Dritet Som Renner Ut I Ua.  Spiteful black metal vocals command the listener while the guitars slither like a snake between atmospheric riffs and Ved Buens Ende-esque disharmonic passages.  A torrent of black metal blasts spin the song sidewards into dark territories.  The title-track hurtles out at the listener with a sense of immediacy coupled with classy lead work on the guitar.  Traditional black metal riffing surfaces as the song progresses before I am still somewhat at a loss to compare what I am hearing here and their debut Adjo Silo.  Epic clean vocals illuminate the song in a similar style to some of the latter day Enslaved work but without any of the warm Psychedelia. As you might expect, the track builds to a more aggressive climax before drifting into areas of ambient riffing.  Faen! is more straightforward in its ravenous assault of black metal riffs with melodic undercurrents.  Mig Og Drit uses muted warbling synth to add waves of hysteria to cascading black metal riffs and demented, yet forlorn clean vocal passages.  The drums waver between midtempo meanderings to hyper-intense eruptions of speed.  The insane sax work at the end of the song is unsettling.  However immediately following that Skaevven lets loose a stream melodic riffs and abrasive black metal anger.  When sewn together with the shimmering synths the passages take on an occult rock vibe.  Plodding drums and ghostly synths on album closer Drokkne I Ei Flo Ta Aske remind us of the otherworldly foundation for the album.  The mournful saxophone creates a dreary and sorrowful mood as the song continues to draw the listener in.  Spyhorelandet is diverse and enthralling.  A majestic album that is along the lines of early Arcturus and Ved Buens Ende with avantgarde black metal that lies in the realms of atmospheric and mind-expanding art.