Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Aptorian Demon - Libertus

The general principle is not to write about a record before the dust is settled. There are times though that the first few spins of a record makes you feel sure about its value and the enthusiasm and nostalgic feeling they create makes you feel some kind of an urgent impulse to type some fucking words about it while in the heat of the first 48 hours (and after listening to the record a dozen times in a row).
The norwegian black metal scene has been relegated to the second or even third rate in terms of quality, in the late 90s and especially the previous decade. The 'true norwegian black metal' slogan has ended up as a joke, with all the leading bands of the second wave having abandoned the ship after 1995 or so. The result was that the norwegian bands ended up as mere followers and the poor relatives in a global scene that was slowly standing on its own feet again. A great change for a country that claimed black metal as its own but finally managed to limit it sound wise and sometimes has been a source of frustration for many people that where around from the beginning of this whole thing.
The only signs of life were coming from the local scene of nidaros (trondheim) that from the mid 00s was the obvious hope that all was not lost and there were still bands that were keeping the spirit alive. Bands like Mare, Black Majesty and later  Dødsengel (the only prolific band of the lot) have been sporadically poisoning the air with their own brand of occult black metal. Aptorian Demon had left their mark in the underground having recorded only a 7'' seven years ago. Libertus is the first full length and is the first record after many years that reminded me the days of 1990 or 1991. It is not so much the sound of it, that is rooted in the early days of black metal. They would not be the first to do that. It is mostly that the feeling they create is reminiscent of the sinister feeling of the first days. The sound is coming from the depths of moisty dungeons where the scent of incense is unbearable for the uninitiated. There is nothing new here for those that are obsessed with innovation over quality, talent and soul. There are bells, there are acoustic guitar intros and breaks into the songs (and no, they are no folk bullshit). There is the familiar guitar tone, that at least to these ears is more lava than ice.
Libertus is a ritual constructed around the thirteen minutes of the self titled track. A ritual that still haunts you for hours after being exposed to it. The bells and creeping atmosphere of  Var Aere Er Troskap echoes in your head, the chanting of Ignitus and  the acoustic Amir al-Mu`minin, resonates down to your very guts. All in all a sinister work that is better lived through vinyl and in total darkness. 
I haven't been that exited about a pure, 'traditional' black metal record in ages. 
This is true fucking black metal you bastards.