Úden/Nagrindr – Split review at Heathen Harvest

LINK: http://heathenharvest.org/2013/05/02/split-%E2%80%8E-uden-nagrindr/

Certainly, in the dark passageways and subterranean paths of the darkest genres of music, splits have become quite commonplace, and can be as varied as the artists that venture upon them.  The thing I like most about splits is the expectation of variety, along with the chance to hear perhaps a never before discovered artist whom has been packaged in with an old favorite.  Such is the experience that isÚden/Nagrinðr.  Simply titled, the work sets itself up as a unique reflection of two projects who remain close compatriots in the world of visceral sound and experience.

Úden begins the odyssey with a pair of fairly long-winded tracks.  His side takes up over 24 minutes, and his “Wandering” duo requires several listens to be absorbed completely. Part I is certainly a precursor to Part II, and Part II is where I will focus.

Part II alone would justify purchasing this album, in my opinion.  There are very few tracks that really open up all the senses, and this one certainly does that, and more.  Completely unassuming, the scale and veracity that this song evolves into is quite breathtaking.  Though minimalistic in nature and structure, the overreaching themes of sadness and isolation are clearly implied, not to mention physically felt.  I would rank this one among the likes of Ancient Tundra‘s Wandering Along a Lonely Path, or Öröm‘s Csöndben.  Both songs denote a wandering soul, finding the way through the darkness, both metaphorically and spiritually.  “Wandering II” just has that undeniable classic feel to it.  Its minimalism is matched only by its stark greatness.

And so the first half comes to a close.  And the “unknown, undiscovered” artist I spoke of earlier?  That was Úden.  And see, already a fast favorite was found, and a musical bond formed.  Let’s see what Nagrinðr has for us this time.

Quite a bit shorter, and undeniably darker, Nagrinðr forces into the mix with “Hostis… Antiqvvs Hostis”, easily the shortest piece present on this work.  Undulating and unsettling, this mix provides a darker, albeit deeper look into the aforementioned loneliness and a sense that, truly, we are incredibly alone in our hour of suffering.  Slowly, the industrial/martial percussion begins, adding another layer to the overall scope and scape of madness personified.  The track ends as its counterpart begins.

The last tracks are a serious matter, as they put the frame and finish on the work and themes presented.  In this case, it’s rather unfortunate.  Track 1 was good, tracks 2 and 3 were magnificent, but track 4 was atonal and borderline obnoxious.  Nothing against the artist here, it’s just that it grated my ears and mind a lot more than I have ever been comfortable with.  I was actually quite disappointed in this final expression on an otherwise remarkable album.

Splits are either done well, or horribly executed.  I’d give this one some time if you happen to come across one for sale, which will be quite a feat, especially considering only 50 were ever made.  It’s one of those releases that spawns feeling and angst, pleasure and pain, all within 45 minutes of pressing the play button.  Recommended for fans of deep, resonating dark ambient with a hint of watery essence to the mix.

Track List:

01) Úden – Wandering
02) Úden – Wandering II
03) Nagrinðr – Hostis… Antiqvvs Hostis
04) Nagrinðr – Vermiis (A Call from the Womb Beneath the Earth)

Rating: 4/5
Written by: Asche
Label: Departed Souls Productions (Chile) / DPS-I / CD-R
Dark Ambient / Industrial

LINK: http://heathenharvest.org/2013/05/02/split-%E2%80%8E-uden-nagrindr/

 

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~ by Úden on 02/05/2013.

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