Despite having been going for two decades Fleurety have only released two full length albums and are unlikely to ever bring out another one. The work of Svein Egil Hatlevik and Alexander Nordgaren on these full lengths, previous demos and in between EP have however consolidated their position as one of the forerunners and most innovative acts to spawn from the Norwegian black metal scene into something altogether stranger and take the music off to unsuspected territories. Along with Ved Buens Ende, Beyond Dawn & In The Woods they were literally responsible for turning the principles of the music on its head and confounding any expectations, causing staunch fanatics in the scene to either regard them with utter contempt or be prepared to tune in and turn on to these warped new sounds. Fleurety album Min Tid Skal Komme (1995) was one of the forerunners and defining albums of this new movement and with its follow up Department Of Apocalyptic Affairs (2000) they had introduced a carnivalesque, progressive, psychedelic melange of sounds that owed as much to the likes of Kraut Rock, Beefheart and Zappa as anything more feral and primitive emerging from the Norse forests.
This is music that has fascinated me and I could talk about it for ages, in fact much to his dismay I did that with Svein Egil Hatlevik resulting in the longest interview he has probably ever done http://www.avenoctum.com/2013/02/interview-svein-egil-hatlevik
At the time on speaking to him about this release and its predecessor 7” Evoco Bestias he stated “Alexander and I have been friends since childhood, and when we meet, we like to make music together. He’s been living in all sorts of remote places across the globe the last ten years, so we meet once every year or so. That’s when Fleurety happens. The upcoming 7” will be named “Et Spiritus Meus Semper Sub Sanguinantibus Stellis Habitabit”. It doesn’t sound anything like “Department of Apocalyptic Affairs”; if it sounds like anything we’ve done before, it would be “Min Tid Skal Komme”. But it’s pretty far from that one too. One of the songs features some pretty abrasive guitar shredding, while the other one is more on the grim side. Hopefully it will be out in a few months, but things tend to take a while with this band, so I wouldn’t be too sure.” True to his word the record has indeed landed 6 months or so later and it should be noted still on the English label that the band started out on!
I was expecting the unexpected on playing this but the first surprise on pulling this nice thick slab of 7” vinyl out the sleeve was seeing that it was a fetching shade of peach! Side A) ‘Degenerate Machine’ is a heady stewed cavalcade of progressive licks and madcap arrangements. It is a fast paced number on the whole and at full steam with Nordgaren’s lunatic garbled vocals it is almost in danger of imploding. There are some parts that could easily belong in a jazz fusion number and at conclusion there is one of those carnival cavalcade breaks before the amok machine finally breaks down. Listening on repeat you can hear the origins of Fleurety here nestled with the more insane breaks and beats of Hatlevik’s more recent output in Stagnant Waters and Zweizz.
Side B) ‘It’s When You’re Cold’ starts in an insane fashion with skewed harmonics seething out in an avant-skronk (yeah I made that up) welter of discordance. Then the vocals gargle and rasp in on a bed of hateful off kilter noise. Sung in English but sounding beastly this is what you may expect coming out the Norwegian forests but only if possessed Evil Dead style and this is somewhat tortured uneasy listening. Slowing and bringing brass effects into things the vocals hideously turn any semblance of beauty into pure ugliness before the track peacefully slowly ebbs out in an ambient fashion. Phew!
So despite this being a very rare release from Fleurety they have definitely placated those of us patiently waiting with this unhinged exercise in audial terrorism and made my brain nearly explode in the process.
If you want to experience the rush don’t be hanging around as naturally only 666 copies of this exist and once they have gone….