Blodarv – Heksen
Reviewed by Oct 22nd, 2009

I recall reading a blurb describing this band somewhere, saying it was like some band or another, I forget who, on crack. Yeah. That pretty much describes Blodarv though. Black Metal on crack. I love it. Well, much of it; “love” would be too strong a word to use for various of the ambient and keyboardy tracks on Soulcollector. But why am I talking about Soulcollector again? Oh yeah, because these songs are on it too. I hunted down a used copy of this 7″ because, after getting copies of Deamonis and Linaria Amlech, I was hell-bent on owning everything they ever recorded. But enough of my explaining my Blodarv obsession, and on to the 7″ in question…

This has two songs on it and the sleeve design is nice as usual despite semi-hard-to-read lyrics on the inside. As with other Blodarv stuff the lyrics are vaguely storylike and dialog-ish. I’ve read some interviews with Hugin in which he talks about these witches or whatever, and I just don’t understand exactly what he’s on about so I’ll just leave it at that. Strange stuff. There is no side A and side B, this is Blodarv, after all; there is a side Nitiria and a side Amlech. The first contains “Den Jordfødte Kællings Hævn,” which (this version, anyway) was “created for this EP and won’t feature on any other recordings of Blodarv.” It starts off with a kind of strange industrial-ish bit, and then… wait! Haven’t I heard this before? Is that not the riff from “Forseglet forevig”? It’s a bit more muffled-sounding and somehow I like the version on Soulcollector better. It’s the more immediately-likeable song on here, the riff is very catchy yet still heavy and noisy as hell. This also has some vocals by Isaz about halfway through the song,and again, I’m a bit conflicted on this because I don’t like many clean vocals and I do like Hugin’s voice better. Still, it is solid and memorable songwriting, but perhaps an acquired taste in parts.

That being said, I think it’s actually worthwhile to listen to the different versions of the same songs on some Blodarv releases (especially “Beyond Life.”), and I don’t regret buying this. “Heksen (Nitiria Amlech)” also later appeared on Soulcollector. It starts off with some strange noises and laughing over a quiet, hypnotic guitar part before launching abruptly into the main part of the song, but this is why Blodarv is so brilliant! Certainly there are other BM bands that quieter guitar intros here and there with weird talking/noises/etc. but most of the time, these songs feel like it’s just a formula for making every song not sound identical. Here, it really adds to the atmosphere. And while I like a lot of braindead, satanic BM, I also really appreciate the more complex lyrical nature of stuff like this; Blodarv recordings sort of exist in their own complete universe. Despite having read a number of interviews with Hugin, perusing the website, reading all the lyrics on the releases, and watching the video material on Linaria Amlech. I am still confused as to what this whole Linaria/Nitiria stuff is really all about. Then again, maybe the mystery of it adds to the experience. If you don’t already like Blodarv though, you won’t be interested in tracking down a copy of this. Your loss.
Blodarv @ Myspace

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