“There´s a fair share of towering chords, spectral vocals and attacking drum work, but overall there´s far more ethereal qualities working the majority of tracks.”
Robert W. Cook is nothing less than a glowing enigma, crafting his own mythic realm where his visual and musical art are joined. This dreamy domain is called Norot. While I´ve had a look at some of the artist´s visual works (and subsequently being mesmerized by them), I´m going to take a look at the musical side of Norot.
“Nathrach” opens with desolate guitar notes and ominous background arrangements, working towards releasing the suspense. “Lightbearer” is the first real track and also bears a more aggressive character than most of the material found on the album. There´s a fair share of towering chords, spectral vocals and attacking drum work, but overall there are far more ethereal qualities working the majority of tracks.
It´s tempting to use the tag “Hipster Black Metal”, since it´s the new word for Black Metal, which isn´t rooted in the second wave. Since I do have a brain, I´m gonna refrain from using said tag, as I feel Norot´s intrinsic weavings surpass conventional definitions and yet there are no outlandish or avant-garde customs associated with this one man project either.
“The Dreaming Maelstrom” drags along with its midtempo dreariness before the listener is taken back to more aggressive musings on “Haunted Sleep”. From here on the album tones down on the exquisite brutality and takes on a different route that favors more gothic and unearthly atmospheres. Shorter interludes like “Vast And Luminous” and “The Howling Void” display such elaborate guitar arrangements, almost reaching meditative levels.
“Nathrach” is the kind of work that engulfs the listener. This is not a song oriented album but a giant conceptual engagement, divided into parts that work on a spiritual level. Fans of Black Metal with gothic influences and ritualistic leanings will undoubtedly feel at home with “Nathrach”. 9/10
1. The Old Serpent
3. The Dreaming Maelstrom
4. Haunted Sleep
5. Vast And Luminous
6. The End Of All Things
7. The Howling Void
8. Her Woven Abyss
9. A Bitter Harvest
10. Lunar Ascendant
11. Serpent Of Fire