Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Eye

The Eye - Supremacy
Velvet Music International, 1997
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. The Eternal Oath of Lie
2. The Land
3. The Call of a Thousand Souls
4. My Supremacy
5. Aidyl
6. The Purest Domination in Wisdom (The Eternal Eye)
7. Your Wickedness... (Bastard Son of Fear)
8. The Eye

This is one of the biggest blunders in my collecting years. I missed out on this release originally. This is a real shame because it truly would have shaped me musically, I believe. I didn't hear this project until around the early 2000's when I had discovered Blut aus Nord, but by then all the copies were gone and I was stuck with some mp3's I downloaded. It has certainly influenced me over the years and
I still considered this one of the finest recordings Vindsval has ever made. Luckily "Supremacy" has risen again with Debemur-Morti doing the release wonderful justice in 2013 (Pictured right). Far too long for a release of this caliber to stand silent in the shadows. They've given us a beautiful new cover with a wonderful layout. Far superior than what Candlelight gave Blut aus Nord with the re-releases of the first two albums, in my opinion anyway. Debemur-Morti's dedication to art is fairly well known throughout the scene, so it really is no surprise. The one and only complaint I could furnish is that the re-release did not include the "Normanniska" demo tape as a bonus.

"Supremacy" really does continue down the more atmospheric path founded by "Ultima Thulée", but "Supremacy" is just such a far more developed and mature piece of art. The blending of Ambient and Black Metal throughout is simply stunning. Every song has an incredible degree of majesty, which I usually wouldn't have associated with things having programmed drums. Even though Vindsval uses a very obvious drum program, and I have no doubt real drums would have made this album even more impressive, it doesn't take away from the beauty inherent in the music. In this regard "Supremacy" can hardly be described as an intense album, instead the pace of the music is far slower and sort of relies on lulling the listener into its atmosphere. This is a little different from what we first experienced with the "Normanniska" demo, which had some harsher, fast songs on there. This is probably why all of the tracks didn't make it on the full-length with a re-recording. I think this album really highlights how far Vindsval has come with respect to his ability to compose. It really makes me look forward to anything else he would do with this project.

Sadly between this albums release and re-release, the project has been entirely silent. I don't know if the re-release signals some sort of resurrection, but I really hope that Blut aus Nord's intense experimentation over the years doesn't play into anything that would change this projects concepts. I feel like heavy focus on this kind of plodding atmosphere is really at the heart of The Eye and I hope it remains that way, whatever the future may bring. Either way, this album, I consider to be a must have.

The Eye - Normanniska
Self-Released, 1996
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro
2. Your Glory Beyond Our Dead
3. The Purest Domination in Wisdom (The Eternal Eye)
4. An Ancestral Journey in Your Blood

With "Memoria Vetusta" being released this year Vindsval has already turned his gaze onto a new project called The Eye. This is another demo tape, similar to Children of Mäani in the prior year, but musically very very different. "Normanniska" kind of follows a blended path of "Ultima Thulée" and "Memoria Vetusta". Unfortunately, I missed out on the original version of this, despite being able to find copies of the other demo tapes out there. This is probably one of the most sought after Vindsval side projects and is usually ranked up there as high as Blut aus Nord.

The music is absolutely wonderful. It has this wonderful blend between an Ambient quality with harsh Black Metal. I'm not sure it quite enters the realm of Atmospheric Black Metal at this time, but tracks like "The Purest Domination in Wisdom (The Eternal Eye)" really do transcend that border. However, "You Glory Beyond Our Dead" bear closer resemblance to a much more traditional Black Metal style, with a wonderfully harsh bent to it. I really like the direction of this music a lot more than Children of Mäani and I'm hoping The Eye develops into a little more for the future. Some tracks feel like a continuation of the "Ultima Thulée" style, since the "Memoria Vetusta" style was so different. So, if you liked the debut album of Blut aus Nord, I feel like that style is being further developed with this project.

The only bad part about this demo is that it is only a mere sixteen minutes in length. I really hope that there is more to come from this. If you're a Vindsval fan this is a must hear project. And even if you just like high quality Black Metal.

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