Cerca nel blog

giovedì 3 maggio 2018

Minneriket - Anima Sola

#FOR FANS OF: Black Viking
Minneriket is a solo project created by the Norwegian musician Stein Akslen, who is well known in the Norwegian underground black metal scene (Blodsgard, Vakslen, Æra). His music has been featured on several underground compilation albums, as well as in several independent short-films. Prior to the inception of this project, Stein has been involved in several other bands, all of them related to black metal, so it’s not a surprise that also this one, which was founded in 2014, is solidly related to this genre. Lyrically, Minerriket´s music deals with paganism, existentialism and melancholy, which is not a surprise taking into account his profound interest in old mythologies and alternative spirituality. In only four years, Minnerriket has released four albums, including a tribute to Burzum. 'Anima Sola' is the new opus by Stein and I must admit that I was initially slightly confused with the album artwork, which reminds me some gothic meta/rock albums. The used artwork is a little bit misleading, but 'Anima Sola' is just another step in the evolution of the previous works and it is firmly rooted in a traditional black metal style. Sonically, this new work sounds more aggressive than the previous one, but it also has an occasional dense melancholic and mournful sound, which makes this album a hypnotic experience. The album flows between the most atmospheric tracks and the rawer ones being the winners, in my humble opinion, the mid-tempo tracks like the album opener “Tro, Håp Og Kjærlighet”. I like the slower riffing which sounds more intriguing and hypnotic, rather than the more straightforward sections contained in tracks like “An All Too Human Heart”. Those rawer and, occasionally, faster tracks are good but I think they can sound as too standard in comparison to those which recreate melancholic sonic landscapes. As usual, the longest tracks offer the chance of enjoying both aspects, and this time is no different with the sixth song entitled “Det Lyset Jeg Ikke Kan Se”. This song contains some of the best riffs of the album, which appear in the slowest and darkest sections, once again those parts are the most interesting ones, because they create an engrossing atmosphere. Another standing out track is “Sorger Er Tyngst I Solskinn”, due to its slightly experimental nature. It contains some sections with weird riffs and an initial choir with male clean vocals, which remind me the classic Viking metal choirs. A strange combination for sure, but it somehow can work if you like this sort of experimentations. In conclusion, Minneriket has released an album which can please the average black metal fan who wants a release with a raw and a traditional sound at the same time, but also with room to slight experimentations and variations in the pace. 'Anima Sola' is mainly a mid-tempo work with occasionally faster and furious sections. Anyway, this cd has its best moment when Stein focus his efforts on creating hypnotic and mid-tempo riffs, which make the album a more unique listening. (Alain González Artola)

(Akslen Black Art Records - 2018)
Score: 70