Ildjarn
Ildjarn


4.0
excellent

Review

by noisymugwump USER (30 Reviews)
May 31st, 2009 | 61 replies | 8,473 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of my personal favourite black metal albums from the best band of the second wave and the originators of raw black metal.

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

Ah, Ildjarn. Everything that needs to be said about this band has already been said, and I come into this review with a great deal of bias considering they're my favourite black metal band. That being said, Ildjarn's first three albums are masterpieces, and the self titled album is the crowning jewel on their legacy (I say 'their' knowing it's a solo project... I don't like saying 'his'). As everyone knows, Ildjarn played an uncompromisingly raw, minimal and simplistic form of black metal just as the second wave was taking off in Norway. Forget about Transilvanian Hunger, Ildjarn was it for raw black metal. And *** the majority of bands that came out of that scene, all you need is Ildjarn. I am exaggerating, but as I said they are my favourite black metal band.

Anyhow, the production here is very dull and hazy, recorded on a 4-track with Vidar Vaaer playing every instrument. The utter simplicity of the music means most of the time the same drum beat repeats for all or most of a song. The riffs are harsh and simplistic and mostly limited to a few chords a piece. But it's not just a few punky power chord progressions. The music is very dark and dissonant while retaining a punky pace and intensity. The bass is frequently audible even behind the flurry of distortion, and oddly enough isn't always distorted. Although that would give me a boner, the clean bass lines are well written and add to the hypnotic atmosphere, occasionally taking on different rhythms than the guitar. The album isn't all played at the same tempo either. Certain songs slow it down (such as the crushing and brutal "Krigere" and "Himmelhelv", and the percussionless and almost stonerishly hazy "Blikkets Storhet"). Vidar really knows how to deliver captivating filth as well as hypnotic repetitiveness and wonderful dissonance. All these things encapsulate the Ildjarn sound, and it's perfect all the way through. The vocals are also noteworthy. They're almost exclusively harsh rhasps that match the tone of the music well. He also throws in a few chant-like clean vocal parts here and there.

For some the album drags. It's 27 tracks and over an hour long. For me that's great, because I can't get enough of this stuff. Also I should mention that this is definitely how raw black metal should be recorded and performed. Many people get down on Ildjarn for having such a primitive approach, but out of the oodles of other raw black metal bands that exist Ildjarn does it best. The songwriting is perfect, everything flows, there are no awkward parts, no improper timing or mistakes, no annoyingly bad recording, everything is in the right place in the mix, and the whole album has a consistent tone and feel. Furthermore the songs sound genuine and full of substance. It doesn't sound like something some loser metalheads slapped together, it's inspired and creative music. That sounds like a pretty gay and elitist thing to say, but that's the way it is.

So this is Ildjarn's debut. It's their best album (although that's a tough distinction with the amazing follow-ups Forest Poetry and Strength and Anger to contend with) and since Ildjarn is my favourite black metal band, it's high up there as one of my overall favourite black metal releases. This is what I look for in black and metal and to a large extent in music in general: raw, harsh, filthy, and uncompromising music with a level of substance that I sort of feel intuitively. I'm sure most black metal fans have already heard it, and there's a great many people who say it's utter trash and horribly overrated. Those people just don't have the same ear for rawness as me, and they probably don't enjoy much of the filthy trash I crave. There's not much point in making a specific recommendation on such a well known album/band, but there's my two cents.

(originally written for www.metal-archives.com under the name stonetotem)



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zip
May 31st 2009



5312 Comments


27 tracks of black metal makes me want to cry.

Hawks
May 31st 2009



35638 Comments


I really doubt this is a 5. Forest Poetry sucked ass so I'm not even going to check this out.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Zip
May 31st 2009



5312 Comments


I listened to Emperor, Anthems to the Welkin at Dust, I didn't like it too much.

rasputin
May 31st 2009



14540 Comments


I really doubt this is a 5.

You with the extensive and articulate taste in black metal.

Willie
Moderator
May 31st 2009



15912 Comments


So what is it, Rasputin. I trust your judgement much more than this fallating of the band put to words.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

rasputin
May 31st 2009



14540 Comments


Oh I haven't listened to the band actually, I just didn't want to miss the opportunity of poking fun at Hawks :P

Willie
Moderator
May 31st 2009



15912 Comments


ha ha, that makes sense.

rasputin
May 31st 2009



14540 Comments


yeah, from what i know these guys are into the minimal, raw, grim kvlt sound, so i don't think you'd be too fond of it willie

Zip
May 31st 2009



5312 Comments


27 tracks of raw seems a bit excessive. These kind of black metal albums should be sliced down to about 30 minutes.

Willie
Moderator
May 31st 2009



15912 Comments


The review did make it sound like it would be around a 1.5 or 2 in my opinion.

rasputin
May 31st 2009



14540 Comments



The review did make it sound like it would be around a 1.5 or 2 in my opinion.

yeah it just depends what sort of black metal you're into i guess.

marksellsuswallets
May 31st 2009



4848 Comments


Ah, Ildjarn. Everything that needs to be said about this band has already been said

Umm...who?! Also, quite a plethora of ΓΈ's up there...

noisymugwump
May 31st 2009



103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I wrote this review for metal archives, a site where people actually have a basic knowledge of metal. Ildjarn are very very well known. I also addressed that many people would find this album too minimal, lengthy and abrasive and described it as a personal favourite.

marksellsuswallets
June 1st 2009



4848 Comments


It seems like that was a thinly veiled insult but I'll let it slide. The point is, regardless of what you may think, Ildjarn or whoever may not be as popular as you may think, and you should never just assume people know who a band is.

rasputin
June 1st 2009



14540 Comments


a site where people actually have a basic knowledge of metal

haha, that's a rather big statement, i don't think the average MA member would be able to live up to it

marksellsuswallets
June 1st 2009



4848 Comments


Even wizard hasn't rated any of these albums so they can't be that well known (ha).

rasputin
June 1st 2009



14540 Comments


they are well known in black metal circles

marksellsuswallets
June 1st 2009



4848 Comments


I know quite a few people who are pretty coocoo for black metal that have never mentioned these guys so idk. That was also more poking fun at Karl than anything...

rasputin
June 1st 2009



14540 Comments


well the few people you know aren't that into black metal it seems

marksellsuswallets
June 1st 2009



4848 Comments


Well it's all they listen too so idk



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