Northaunt - Horizons
Dark Ambient Close your Eyes. Think Norway. Think Music. Those of you in the know are probably thinking about grim, satanic, necro metal, burning churches, and Varg Vikernes.

It's quite possible that you might even be thinking about Northaunt - Norway's finest Dark Ambient project, quite possibly one of Dark Ambients finest Dark Ambient projects.

After a handful of successful and well received releases, "Horizons" is Northaunt's first contribution to the Cyclic Law label. The copy of Horizons in front of me is a Digipak. This tells me two things. Firstly, it tells me that I have one of the first 2000 copies. Secondly, it tells me that there's a bonus video on the disc. Glee!

'Horizons' Carries the theme and concept of exhausting Isolation, emptiness, and bankruptcy of the soul. In this, Night time is eternal.

'Until Dawn Do Us Part' is a tribute to desolation, a potent reminder that no matter how attached we get, we will always end up alone and betrayed. Sometimes it is better to walk in darkness forever, then to befriend the light and see it leave you.

The actual tune itself is winsome and beautiful. About 3 minutes into the song, a beautiful, slow melody kicks in, not unlike distant panpipes playing in the wind, and the only way I can honestly describe this is perfect. Think 'Hlidskjalf' by Burzum, but with a significant amount of extra accomplishment. The beautiful build up on 'Der Tod Wuotans' - that's what you get here, but constant, finer tuned, and above all else, beautiful. Fade out with a lovely chord progression, wind noises, and a feel of mournful transgression.

The transition to darkness continues with the appropriately named 'Night came to Us'. Immediately, this 14 minute opus is a lot darker, slower, and more eerie. We hear what sounds like very violent rain, coupled with doors slamming in the background, and a very nice atmospheric build up, completed with noises in the background resembling echoing footsteps. Dramatically after five minutes of the Dusk descending on you, the feel of utter urgency kicks in, as the noises get a lot faster, louder, more desperate. Church Bells, howling, the moon mocking you as it vanishes behind a tree. Absolutely Divine.

This is immediately followed by the title track, which is easily the best track so far (and that says something as its predecessors are works of art and sheer brilliance).

If the Kundalini was to ever ascend to music, this song would suit it perfectly.

The track at times gets very close to taking an Eastern feel, there are times when the build up leaves you certain that a wind instrument is about to kick in, but this never happens.

'The Autumn Sky' gives me very high expectations. I expect to close my eyes and be able to see the golden leaves reflected off the shimmering moon, while cold winds attack my senses and a distant Owl lets out his wise hoot. It doesn't do this. That doesn't matter too much. The feeling is almost as good. Melancholy; the memorial to a million dying forests, the coronation of a longer night, and the beginning of a bleakness and hatred that only the beginning of the Winter season could ever deliver.

I vowed recently to stop doing track by track reviews. Sorry, but this album is too epic to even break down. I have to write. The Icy breath of winter is on my neck, urging me. 'Night Alone' is second to only 'Horizons'. This track is a much higher pitched, higher frequency number to anything else on here, and fuck me, it works!! The shrill tones reflect Icicles and Blizzards, and the inhospitality of winter has never been so tangible.

Moving on to the best titled track on the album, 'With the Stars as Witness', we find ourselves experiencing the harshest and most un-nerving atmosphere so far, and with this, the heart of winter itself is upon us, night is twenty four hours long, the snow and fog never stops. Shadows in front of us are all we can see, like tiny Cataracts of Nature, greying, blinding, and losing all hope.

Finally, 'The Wilderness' is a perfect closure to a perfect storm. The final two minutes bring out yet another, (and in my opinion the best) melodic progression, after the aural nightmare we have just taken in (and enjoyed) this paints a morale to the story. There is hope, and although it is bleak, distant, and forgettable, somewhere between the grey skies, ashen floors, and silver roofs, a solitary beam of light shines, and with it, a birdsong is cried, like a sound that hasn't been heard in centuries.

7 Tracks, 60 minutes, and a video that I will leave up to you to experience. The next stanza will be said with the most honesty I have ever mustered.

This is one of the best albums I have ever, ever heard. It is the best album I have reviewed in my career, and it is one of the top 3 Dark Ambient releases I have heard, out of the thousand or so that I actually have. Northaunt have not just released their masterpiece, but they have now put themselves in the books as the masters, executioners and creators of Atmospheric Ambient.

No Hyperbole. Everyone has to hear this.
4
Brutal Resonance

Northaunt - Horizons

Close your Eyes. Think Norway. Think Music. Those of you in the know are probably thinking about grim, satanic, necro metal, burning churches, and Varg Vikernes.

It's quite possible that you might even be thinking about Northaunt - Norway's finest Dark Ambient project, quite possibly one of Dark Ambients finest Dark Ambient projects.

After a handful of successful and well received releases, "Horizons" is Northaunt's first contribution to the Cyclic Law label. The copy of Horizons in front of me is a Digipak. This tells me two things. Firstly, it tells me that I have one of the first 2000 copies. Secondly, it tells me that there's a bonus video on the disc. Glee!

'Horizons' Carries the theme and concept of exhausting Isolation, emptiness, and bankruptcy of the soul. In this, Night time is eternal.

'Until Dawn Do Us Part' is a tribute to desolation, a potent reminder that no matter how attached we get, we will always end up alone and betrayed. Sometimes it is better to walk in darkness forever, then to befriend the light and see it leave you.

The actual tune itself is winsome and beautiful. About 3 minutes into the song, a beautiful, slow melody kicks in, not unlike distant panpipes playing in the wind, and the only way I can honestly describe this is perfect. Think 'Hlidskjalf' by Burzum, but with a significant amount of extra accomplishment. The beautiful build up on 'Der Tod Wuotans' - that's what you get here, but constant, finer tuned, and above all else, beautiful. Fade out with a lovely chord progression, wind noises, and a feel of mournful transgression.

The transition to darkness continues with the appropriately named 'Night came to Us'. Immediately, this 14 minute opus is a lot darker, slower, and more eerie. We hear what sounds like very violent rain, coupled with doors slamming in the background, and a very nice atmospheric build up, completed with noises in the background resembling echoing footsteps. Dramatically after five minutes of the Dusk descending on you, the feel of utter urgency kicks in, as the noises get a lot faster, louder, more desperate. Church Bells, howling, the moon mocking you as it vanishes behind a tree. Absolutely Divine.

This is immediately followed by the title track, which is easily the best track so far (and that says something as its predecessors are works of art and sheer brilliance).

If the Kundalini was to ever ascend to music, this song would suit it perfectly.

The track at times gets very close to taking an Eastern feel, there are times when the build up leaves you certain that a wind instrument is about to kick in, but this never happens.

'The Autumn Sky' gives me very high expectations. I expect to close my eyes and be able to see the golden leaves reflected off the shimmering moon, while cold winds attack my senses and a distant Owl lets out his wise hoot. It doesn't do this. That doesn't matter too much. The feeling is almost as good. Melancholy; the memorial to a million dying forests, the coronation of a longer night, and the beginning of a bleakness and hatred that only the beginning of the Winter season could ever deliver.

I vowed recently to stop doing track by track reviews. Sorry, but this album is too epic to even break down. I have to write. The Icy breath of winter is on my neck, urging me. 'Night Alone' is second to only 'Horizons'. This track is a much higher pitched, higher frequency number to anything else on here, and fuck me, it works!! The shrill tones reflect Icicles and Blizzards, and the inhospitality of winter has never been so tangible.

Moving on to the best titled track on the album, 'With the Stars as Witness', we find ourselves experiencing the harshest and most un-nerving atmosphere so far, and with this, the heart of winter itself is upon us, night is twenty four hours long, the snow and fog never stops. Shadows in front of us are all we can see, like tiny Cataracts of Nature, greying, blinding, and losing all hope.

Finally, 'The Wilderness' is a perfect closure to a perfect storm. The final two minutes bring out yet another, (and in my opinion the best) melodic progression, after the aural nightmare we have just taken in (and enjoyed) this paints a morale to the story. There is hope, and although it is bleak, distant, and forgettable, somewhere between the grey skies, ashen floors, and silver roofs, a solitary beam of light shines, and with it, a birdsong is cried, like a sound that hasn't been heard in centuries.

7 Tracks, 60 minutes, and a video that I will leave up to you to experience. The next stanza will be said with the most honesty I have ever mustered.

This is one of the best albums I have ever, ever heard. It is the best album I have reviewed in my career, and it is one of the top 3 Dark Ambient releases I have heard, out of the thousand or so that I actually have. Northaunt have not just released their masterpiece, but they have now put themselves in the books as the masters, executioners and creators of Atmospheric Ambient.

No Hyperbole. Everyone has to hear this.
Oct 05 2006

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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