Review Summary: Windir's last opus.
I think that it is safe to say that Windir is different from those of its genre at the time. In the late 90's, the black metal revolution was slowing down. Churches were no longer being burned and most of the key cult black metal figures were dead, disbanded or in prison. Plenty of bands still forged onwards, but the genre had become rather stagnant. Black metal itself was turning into a mediocre mess of gloomy guitar riffs, shrieks and stale images all wrapped up in piss-poor production value. Emerging in the late 90's Windir was a breath of fresh air, introducing a more natural theme and straying away from the cult satanic image of their brothers.
Unfortunately, Windir was short-lived; its life cut tragically short by the unexpected death of Valfar, the band’s front man. Although Likferd, Windir’s final album is usually over-shadowed by their magnum-opus 1184, the sheer musical beauty is still alive and well here, made even more poignant by the fact that it would be Windir’s last release.
Most immediately noticeable, is the sheer sound quality of Windir’s work. Most black metal at the time was recorded in basements and homes rather than actual studios and the end result was gritty and dirty. Windir’s production is immaculately clean, and guitar tone features none of the signature black metal reverb, emphasizing the heavy riffs and soaring melodies. Instead of focusing on converting raw anger and hatred into music, Windir took it to the next level and created something profound and ultimately a true work of art.
Unlike other black metal bands, Windir was very explorative and unique in their music style. Like most black metal bands, they employed a rot of guitar riffs that were based around rapid fire tremolo picks to create a melancholy sound. However, Windir did not only dapple in this limited palate of emotions, they explored a deeper emotional realm, encapsulating more distinct and profound thoughts in provoking lyrics and textures. The true beauty of Windir’s work comes in its separation from the monotone of black metal. Windir was a splash of color on a black canvas.
The musicality of Likferd is truly awe-inspiring. Windir’s songs do not conform to typical song-structures so the melodies and blends of the guitar are constantly changing shifting from blazing riffs to more melodious riffs and an occasional solo that favors a more melodic death metal style, flaunting Windir’s ability to break free from the boundaries of black metal. Also notable is the frequent introduction of multiple wind and string instruments and even electronic effects to create a livid and colorful atmosphere. This atmosphere is neatly complimented by skillful drumming and Valfar’s impressive vocal performance which ranges from shrieks and growls to clean chants.
In the end, Likferd is a powerful performance with a distinct sound and style and I highly recommend it to anyone with any taste for the black metal genre. This is a black metal masterpiece that shatters all the boundaries of the genre
Every move that we make are for our own sake
You see yourself in the eye of others,
why the hell do you bother?
You are the civil man dying for a Promised Land
I live in the wilderness to avoid human emptiness
Firstborn in the hall of the mountain
Wandering through the endless woods
Surviving on weaker creatures
This solitary ambience feels so good-
Excerpt from Resurrection of the Wild