<code>

Nouveau Gloaming

Spikefarm Records 2005

This is an "all-star" project that contains members of Ulver, Ved Buens Ende/Dodheims Gard, and VOID but I have placed that in the back of mind as much as possible so I could freely focus on the music on its own merits.  But then again maybe knowing who was involved in this project may have tainted my first impression of what I was going to hear on this album.  There are hints of Ulver and some Ved Buens Ende strewn across this disk.  There is also a lot of an Arcturus feeling here as well.  Though this is similar to the above named projects it is also heavier and darker than all those bands as well.  It has a lot of the more primitive old school black metal feeling to it than most of the other avant-garde bands who are approaching these themes.  So I guess that gives these guys a bit of a unique twist.  To illustrate this point they kick off the album with the heaviest most traditional song in the form of song The Cotton Optic.  After that they just get more bizarre.  The song Brass Dogs has what sounds like a record of some old time clear singer then thunderous riffs creep over the top and swirl around like some sort of haunting dreamscape.  The clear vocals really have an Ulver kind of style to them which is very warm and enthralling.  My favorite song is probably the plodding and doomy A Cloud Formed Teardrop Asylum.  I love how they interchange the black metal vocals and the clean vocals so effortlessly, and the clean vocals can certainly soar.  I think one of the things that really reminds me of VBE is the bass lines used by Vicotnik.  They really stand out and he has his own style to be sure.  The cover art is done by the multi-talented Kim Solve and suits the beautiful darkness of this art.  Overall this is a very interesting and avant-garde piece of music but I like it quite a bit.  To me it is basically a cross between Artcurus and Ved Buens Ende.  It is not something that I immediately fell in love with but it was well worth the listening effort I invested.