Nortt is a one-man depressive black metal project. Hailing from Odense in Denmark, it is ten years since the band was last active.
This makes the release of Endeligt a surprise. Perhaps not a pleasant one, but a surprise all the same.
Nortt is also the name of the band’s only member. He plays everything on the album, performing what he himself calls Pure Depressive Black Funeral Doom Metal. It is as good a descriptor as any, though perhaps the word ‘ambient’ could have been mentioned too.
Each of the first three ‘songs’ is rather an unsettling combination of sounds and ideas as opposed to a rage of blackened thunder, leaving the listener to draw their own conclusions from the half-formed presentations they are confronted with.
Fra hæld til intet is more conventional in that it introduces Nortt’s scabrous, laryngitic vocal against a desolate guitar figure; this doesn’t last long before the more ambient tones take hold again, occasional cracks of a snare drum and a guitar building very gradually in intensity re-establish the feel of metal very slightly. This is hard going, as the maker intends, but there are few recognisable hooks for uncommitted listeners to hold on to.
Eftermæle offers at least a more familiar form. Reptilian vocals rasp over a deathly slow drum and guitar accompaniment before a lament is sounded on piano. This is Nortt at his/it’s best, offering no conciliatory gestures to the masses yet still beguiling in its stark antibeauty.
It’s true that Nortt exists around the very edges of what ‘normal’ people might consider musical. However there is a very definite cold grandeur at play on Endeligt which makes the album irresistibly alluring to those for whom the edge is a comfortable dwelling place. This is by no means music for everyman. But the few with whom it resonates will welcome Nortt back with open arms.
Nortt will release Endeligt through Avantgarde Music on December 29th.