Reviews for Black Metal, Death Metal and some Ambient! The concept behind this site is to do full discography reviews. I will do my best to track down an entire discography to celebrate a band's evolution. I'm pretty strict on sticking to those genres, so please don't request I review something else. I also buy the vast majority of all the things I review and I don't really take promos from labels or demos from bands. If you're worth hearing, I will probably find you.
1. Caravans to Empire Algol
2. The Arrival at Empire Algol
it’s quite clear that Fenris has discovered keyboards that produce weird
sounds. This is kind of like Ambient
music only with more of a Space theme twist to it. Or as Frenris states “Avantgarde Astral Alien
Synth” which I think sums this stuff up fairly well. The more interesting aspect is that this is a
concept series of albums and I’m not really sure as to what the concept is, but
I according to Frenris it is there.
music seems to be without general format, but it has some format here and
there. There is a recurring random bass
line sequence that comes in and out of the first song and it’s got a bit of a
“goofy” feel to it, but for some very odd reason it really works with the
bizarre composition that overlays it.
“Caravans to Empire Algol” certainly has a very spacey feel to it, which
is more than to be expected from something as crazy as this. Basically if you were to take Arcturus and
turn them into an Ambient/Noise project, I think you would find something along
the lines of NeptuneTowers as your end
think the general idea behind the composition was to create something that
sounded alien to the listeners, such as if it was created by another
intelligence. The choice of
instrumentation seems odd too and lends itself to somewhat of a middle-eastern
feel at times. I suppose that kind of
instrument effect would be alien to Norway, but still… I didn’t entirely feel like this was
something an alien intelligence would make.
A good portion of the recording features elements that do give off that
aura, for sure, but it wasn’t something entirely alien. Not that this is something that the average
listener was supposed to understand in my opinion, I mean on the disc it says
“The towers will appear only when your mind is opened.” How to achieve this mental opening is beyond
me, but it’s possible that this is supposed to happen while high… or drunk, I
suppose? Further it says in the booklet
“thank you to whatever gave me the Cold Void visions.” I suppose this statement means that it’s also
supposed to hold the atmosphere of a cold void, like one would encounter
traveling the vast expanses of space.
“The Arrival at Empire Algol” gives off the air of travel quite a
bit. The first part of the track sounds
like a plane traveling by while other things signal in on strange frequencies.
the songs you feel, in a sense, that it is an alien signal trying to tap into
this realm, it is filled with the typical cliché sounds of technology like
varying beeps and so forth that one would encounter in any science fiction
film. There is some explanation as to
how this was recorded on the back of the booklet because Fenris felt the need
to explain his intentions further:
many synthesizer/space releases this album has no vocals or drums. This is purposefully in order to enable the
listeners to keep “both feet off the ground”.
Vocals and drums are particularly earthbound instruments that would
eclipse the mission of this disc.
I do agree with this concept to a degree, the earthen instrumentation from some
of the keyboard settings on this album make it seem earthly in some senses,
while in others Fenris does succeed in creating that almost totally alien
atmosphere that he so desired. I think
for the most part he came through in the overall in creating that astral
do I personally think of this album after all that analysis? Well… it’s not really my cup of tea, per
se. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not
something I would pull out on a regular basis.
I think many people will buy this expecting another attack of Raw Black
Metal, but I feel they will be greatly disappointed because they just associate
the name of the musician with Black Metal and can’t envision much beyond
that. Many musicians have ambient or
keyboard driven side-projects and Fenris is no different than any other man, he
desires to branch out and do something different regardless how bizarre. The composition of this is mainly noise in
structure, but that was the point, and the point of my outlook is that I didn’t
enjoy it very much. I think people will
be more shocked to hear Fenris do something other than Black Metal at this
point in his career than anything else, which is also probably the point of the
whole endeavor. Regardless of points,
ultimately I can’t see this becoming a very popular and highly sought after
release in the future. (Unless of course
aliens take over our planet and all of a sudden this is a multi-platinum