Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Minneriket - Gjennom meg går ingen til hvile (2022)

Gjennom meg går ingen til hvile comes not only after the biggest gap in Minneriket releases, but also as the biggest single leap in progression that the band has made to date. The hallmarks of the project's original style are still present in the rasped vocal and the raw black metal guitars, but these have been joined here with a far more Romantic, prominent use of pianos and keyboards, and a large cast of guest musicians who are providing everything from female guest vocals, to strings, cello, harp, flute, gongs, and saxophones...this was clearly not an album to be given anything less than the full-on, almost overblown artsy treatment, but even if this might seem pretentious when compared to his early work like Vargtimen, it's still quite the alluring album.

I'm particularly impressed by how he's able to slap together a dreamy piano instrumental like "Hjemlengsel" and then flood you with an operatic piece like "Begravelsens hjertseslag", on which the female vocals are very chilling and the lead snarls are as evil as ever. The pianos creep alongside this and other tracks, used as an almost cinematic accompaniment to whatever the guitars are doing beneath. The drums here don't need to blast or anything so you can feel out the beats more, and probably the biggest surprise was the bass guitar, which is groovy and moody and finally creates in own layer of mood that fits write in with the spooky esoterism of the album's classical side. It's so good that I could just turn off everything but the rhythm section and I'd still be bobbing my head along to this one.

This might have more appeal to the Gothic/black metal audience more than those who valued the original Minneriket recordings, but I think its quite an improvement at maintaining my own interest level. There's just so much going on here, and it's both seductive and evil while still doing its own thing and not aping other bands that have mixed the styles. Not entirely avant-garde in structure, but definitely building a unique identity among a scene of so many other great bands that have progressed into their own distinct realms. I don't even know what to really compare it to...Peccatum? The few extra years off were put to good use, and this is one absorbing listen.

Verdict: Win [8/10]


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