Sunday, 3 June 2018

Örnatorpet "Blodbad Och Efterspel" (2018)


I found this record by chance, browsing through the Dungeon Synth tag on twitter, the bold gothic font leaped at me, screaming Burzum worship. The first track I played on bandcamp "Farden Till Dalarna" certainly reinforced that idea. The covers aesthetics, musical composition and ancient keyboard tones all sounded very akin to the genres origins from over a decade before it would flourish in the microcosms of the Internet. Unlike other projects, or perhaps my ignorance, Blodbad Och Efterspel is rooted firmly and inspired by historical events from Örnatorpet's native country. Set in 1520 the record is themed around the events transpiring a Danish king, Christian II, who took the Swedish throne by force.

The record gets of to a slow start, its opening track consisting of a lead piano, foggy choir synths and the occasional striking of war drums reveals a rather minimal and brittle construct. The instruments show their rigidity with sharp attacks and hasty releases that leave little room for ambiguity and subtlety to work magic, it is very direct. It does however set a tone for an aging medieval era, the gloom of harsh realities ruled by monarchs and conquerors looms as a grave burden.

As the album grows, more instruments wage in. Trumpets and horns impose an imperial persona counterpart to the mystical bells and organs which embellish ancient and nostalgic feelings of a mysterious unknowable past. These thicker key tones and denser compositions start to conjure the low-fidelity magic and allure in the Dungeon Synth charm. Some organic uses of reverb take the rigidity down a notch and as the album rolls through its songs it becomes rather entrancing and mystical as each track takes on its own form without feeling farm from the last. Some majestic, others hold the gleam of monarchs. It all ends up becoming a solid record, fit for a particular that shade of mystique and medieval alike atmosphere.

Favorite Tracks: Farden Till Dalama, Den Nye Hovitsmannen
Rating: 6/10

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