Those manipulators of mayhem and tormentors of trickery Fleurety have called in from planet very strange again and caught us completely off guard. Nobody should be that surprised though as it is what the Norwegian outfit centred around core members Svein Egil Hatlevik and Alexander Nordgaren have been doing since the early 90’s. After demo material they really caught attention when they ripped up the Norwegian black metal template and delivered their stunning yet confounding debut album ‘Min tid skal komme’ in 1995. For those of us looking for something a bit different it slotted in like a square peg in a round hole along with works by other such out-there avant-gardists as In The Woods, Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard and Virus, fracturing minds and fraying nerves with its oft-kilter take on things. Follow up album Department Of Apocalyptic Affairs 5 years later was no less baffling and both albums remain firm favourites of mine as well as no doubt a horde of other ill-minded malcontents. After that there was pretty much silence for a long time. If you want to read more on this just look up the interview with Svein on these very pages. In 2009 they finally transmitted from the ether again and continuing a long running relationship with niche British label Aesthetic Death gave us the first limited edition 7” record ‘Ingentes Atque Decorii Vexilliferi Apokalypsis.’ Bang up to date and now they are on their 4th Latin inspired vinyl adventure and no doubt the question you are asking is what is it like? The answer is not quite so easy to explain!
As the record title and my poor attempts at remembering Latin suggest this is very much music of the modern and contemporary age. I should firstly point out that these are instrumental pieces and the duo have other collaborators on board enhancing the sounds you hear. These sounds are certainly not what anyone is probably anticipating as far as side A) ‘Consensus’ is concerned and listening to it may result in your brain wanting to take a holiday from receptors in your ears and getting as far away from your head as possible. Basically this is an exercise in sound and sonic manipulation and very much in line with what one would know from Svein’s work in Zweiss. The words black metal are mentioned in the background before a dense template of experimental sounds are wrung out. There’s a bassy ballast and incessant rumbling with some glistening and fragmentary tones over the top. It’s music Jim but not as we know it! Slowing down there’s more unconventional noises and you try your best to work out what is making them. Looking into things there are a couple of synthesizers and keyboard players, two guitarists a bass and even some ukulele courtesy of Svein. Jazzy, dissonant, experimental, oblique and random are all words that could be used here and it seems like a deranged jam is taking place where all the participants are absolutely bonkers. There is a sense of melody in some of the lines along with squelching sounds in the background, static bristling electrical feedback and even piano. I like it and it sounds absolutely brilliant on the vinyl playing via a good system, which seems like the way it was designed to be played, or perhaps experienced if that doesn’t sound completely pretentious. Mind you that is exactly how you may feel about the whole exercise but it’s doubtful you will have heard 6 minutes of music quite like this before.
Onto side B) and ‘Carnal Nations’, which has more of a sense of cohesion about it and is not quite so unconventional. Still don’t go expecting anything in the way of verse, chorus, verse here, that was never on the cards. Melody comes in with a near Eastern feel to it and at first you wonder if you are hearing a sitar until the melody comes through and totally enchants. Its heady and dreamy, incredibly fragrant and wafts out alongside thickly defined bass lines drawing you into another world and having you float off caught in its airy grasp. The melody is near poetic as it speaks without any words and repeats deliriously to such an extent that it’s close to addictive and something you cannot get enough of. There are some parts where the melody goes off jaunt and sounds oddly out of time but this is purposeful and works wonderfully. There are many things going on under the main layers and it is up to you interpret them if you’re able. Included within the increasingly layered effects we even have the delightfully sounding Cunt Krizlackh on flute! Anyway as the band have uploaded this particular track via official channels you can have a listen below for yourself. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you. As for the whole package including sticker you are urged to head over to Aesthetic Death and pick one of these 666 limited edition lobotomy tools up for yourself!
(!!!/!!! Pete Woods)