Blodarv – Beyond Life
Reviewed by Oct 22nd, 2009

The first time I listened to this I had a massive fever and was on all sorts of cold medicines, and I just could not figure out what was up with this band. Having heard some of their other songs before this, this seemed rather slow and weird to me. Based on the death of Linaria Amlech, this would later grow into the full-length named after her. Clocking in just under 8 minutes, “Langt væk fra Livet” is slow, fuzzed-out and depressing. About halfway through, Hugin is joined by Isaz on vocals, and I rarely say this about clean vocals in black metal, but it is quite awesome. It took me a few listens to realize this, because I have a tendency to disregard anything like that as trendy goth rock or something, but this actually pretty awesome, and proves that clean vocals can be used well sometimes, though in many cases they are not, and even on some Blodarv stuff (ie title song on Soulcollector) I am not sure about them, but this works.

“Death of Linaria” is a more ambient-sounding track with the vocals sort of buried under all the fuzz and a repetitive keyboard part, before “Beyond Life” starts up. It occurs to me that the drums are quite buried here, but it doesn’t hurt it, especially since they’re programmed and it takes your mind off that fact. Of the three (and really, “Death of Linaria” is more of an ambient, mood-setting, concept-based piece and not in the same category as the other two tracks) this is my favorite. As always, the lyrics and vocal performance is good, production is suitably filthy-sounding, and the atmosphere of the tracks is really amazing.

So far as 18-minute concept albums (concept demos?) go, this is pretty good/interesting, but in general most would be more interested in the final product, Linaria Amlech.
Blodarv @ Myspace

Hugin Productions


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