Friday, May 26, 2023

Minneriket - From the Veins of a Nearly Dead Boy (2017)

Minneriket's third album swerves away from original material to pay tribute to one of his favorite artists, and I'm willing to bet that you can guess it in three. You got it in one, Burzum. While Varg's material doesn't entirely inform the first few albums of this project, it's unquestionable that its leaning towards atmospherics and even pure ambience is partly inspired by an album like Filosofem, and why shouldn't it be? The rawness, the hostility, but also the melancholy and wantonness you would feel from that album translate quite well into so many of the potential successors, and Stein is able to capture that here while putting a slight spin on the original material.

That of course comes in the form of the more mechanical sounds that Minneriket is prone to. You will certainly recognize the lyrics and riffs of the tracks that are being covered, but they are almost all surrounded in an added level of ambient/industrial black noise, and occasionally feature a riff or two that he will deconstruct for further make it his own. It works best in tracks like "Lost Wisdom" or "Glemselens Elv", whereas others play it a little closer to the belt. They're still not exact duplicates, because there is always some difference, in the beats or the level of saturated noise, but I'm the sort that really doesn't need close approximations when a band is paying tribute though covers, I'd like to see the material adapted further, and this only fulfills that goal in particular places.

Granted, the originals sound fairly chilling and hostile even in these contexts, and as one who enjoyed most of them when they came out, I found this familiar and listenable, or at least as familiar and listenable as something like this Norse project could ever be. The melodies work just as well beneath the added level of mechanical grime, and clearly he's got taste in his  choices, even dipping into some of the later, understated material for an instrumental. Not an altogether unworthy tribute, but I'm more curious to see where Minneriket would head with his own material next.

Verdict: Indifference [6.75/10]

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