Altaar – Altaar (Indie Recordings)

A new way to blend the old.
Release Date: 
22 Feb 2013 (All day)

At first sight the weird Altaar doesn’t seem to be a big deal. They mix drone, doom and black metal and millions of bands in the universe are doing the same thing right now. 

But as time goes by I perceive that it has nothing to do with WHAT you do, but HOW you do it. 

They just gave the style a completely new angle by inverting the infrastructure of the sound, cleaning the parts where it’s intended to be cleaned (to not sound cheaply sludgy), and put the drone sounds in at the right moment.

Everything here sounds surprising for a 2-track album. 

The first song Tidi Kjem Aldri Att starts mega repetitively, but they vary the sound by having the guitar sound snoring in the forefront for some minutes only to take it away, maintaining the same phrase, but with only the drum and bass. After the iteration your mind is ready for another turn, abruptly changing the tempo, with the guitar right back in your face, all done in a hypnotic and ritualistic way. The sound stops and an effect of guitar which seems to be inverted keeps repeating to give the sensation of a vortex, then the drum enters again accompanying this strange effect... the bass comes after and the song goes on to a crescendo, gaining layers and volume until it stops and explodes in a Sabbath-esque detonation of riffage, now with the sludge elements… It’s cathartic and it’s impossible to not bang your head and make a air guitar a la Triumph of Death by Hellhammer.. The heaviness is extremely absurd, and this is what I call metal! It's a perfect song. When you think it’s over, the initial riff/tempo/phrase is back to haunt you over again, and that’s that. Of course I’m omitting the fact that there’s an epilogue to the sound which is fully dark and ambient and it marries perfectly with the next track.

Dei Absolutte Krav Og Den Absolutte Nåde has a spacial prologue with sounds and effects from outer space, all quietly gaining traction. It’s a myriad of dark ambient effects, and when a drum enters in the background one might imagine it’s only another one of the cosmic trips that the guys are using… There, concealed in the obscure darkness, appears a repetitive sound, and as the seconds are passing one perceives that it’s a drum and a riff, until the dark ambience disappears completely, a drum fill announcing the black metal vocals! Arrrgghhh! Henceforth the track goes on full BM mode showing their Norwegian roots. It’s inevitable, these Norsk lads were born with black in their DNA. While the characteristic sound is there, they never gain velocity until now… The track explodes in a Burzum-esque way of music, only to stop again… The beats are somewhat intricate and the sound stops to give place to the drone/dark ambient and this is the end...

Maybe that doesn’t sound so interesting to you, but to use few things and to sound relevant is something that cannot be neglected. I seriously fell in love with ALTAAR. If you like lengthy sounds this is totally for you. 

Altaar is out now on Indie Recordings