Originally written by Jordan Campbell
So…fuck. Another noise record. A surprising amount of these things have been stumbling in here lately, careening through the corridors and leaving grease stains on the walls. Nevermind that the marquee at the entry screams METAL Review at the top of its lungs…but I guess this type of thing is appealing to a few ‘heads out there.
Wait a minute…apparently, the creators of this muddy, distorted mess claim that this is black metal. And not just black metal, but “opensourced black spiritmetal.” What the fuck is opensourced black spiritmetal, you ask? It’s hard to say, because Nahvalr don’t exactly live up to their billing. There’s no metal here, so we can chuck that out the window straightaway. It’s slightly blackened, sure – the entire record is awash in lo-fi buzziness, intending to inflict an artificial sense of dread. This fact is hammered home by the overlong intro that promises sounds channeled directly from the depths of hell itself.
The anticipation builds. “…what you are about to hear is very disturbing, indeed…”
Yeah. Let’s just say that the disappointment is significant. Nahvalr falls on its collective face immediately out of the gate, failing to make good a lofty promise. “Collective” is the key word here; the “opensourced” tag that they’ve adorned themselves with is in reference to their method of recording. The duo that comprise Nahvalr’s braintrust – Tim Macuga and Dan Barrett of post-whatever shoegazers Have A Nice Life (itself a pretty cool little outlet) – have constructed this hourlong overindulgence with contributions from ten other individuals. Remixing and clusterfucking a series of formless noise does not a black metal album make, however, and this record only serves to prove that Nahvalr have not only failed to grasp the central tenets of the genre, but the entire point of its existence as well.
Essentially, what we have here is a fake black metal album made by committee; a weak-limbed skeleton that musters the bare minimum of musicality by scraping and clattering along the floor, begging for relevance in near-silent death. While a nearly-illegible epitaph begins to take shape during the final two tracks, “The Witch Box” and “Black Elk Speaks, Chokes, and Dies”, the very nature of the recording renders faint praise worthless – especially when few will possess the time/endurance to make it to that juncture of the record anyway.
Riffless (literally), nearly percussionless, and utterly powerless, this album is almost unlistenable, and is largely void of any value whatsoever. Thus, it is ideal for artfuck pseudo-elitists that cower in the shadows of their own pretentiousness, oblivious to the fact that their private little niche of self-expression has devolved into an incoherent, self-righteous, repugnant cesspool.
Reject with violence.