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Evig Natt - Evig Natt

Evig Natt - CD Review
Evig Natt

Evig Natt

CD Info
9 tracks
English / Norwegian lyrics

It’s always interesting to observe the evolution of a female vocalist in the Femme Metal genre. The vocalist here is Kirsten Jørgensen, the female vocalist that is. And this isn’t the first time I’ve worked with her. She attended the Paul McCartney Institute in Liverpool and ended up putting out an catchy little release with a trio calling themselves Reism several years ago. Worthwhile material but evolution can play interesting tricks on us. I first heard about Evig Natt when Helcanen Val announced that the band would be performing this year at MFVF. That will catch anyone’s attention. I did a little research, YouTube is your friend, doncha know. And, I found this little gem which certainly increased my level of appreciation exponentially. It’s a live performance in Karmøygeddon Arctic and pretty much blows the roof off the house. The previous release I’d heard was good, this was promising to be even more interesting. So, I got friends with good contacts to fetch me a copy of the release and then got in touch with Kirsten to get details. One of the more satisfying components here are several tracks in Norwegian, not something we get every day. I asked Kirsten about them, she suggested that a direct lyrical interpretation would be difficult so. . . we’ll stick to the English.

I guess the first thing to address is the band name, it’s an interesting one and comes with an interesting story. Kirsten explains, “Yes, the band name. One night, when Stein and I were sat writing and recording more songs for our first EP, we noticed how dark it was outside. It was one of those pitch black and gloomy Norwegian nights in the middle of winter and our music was going in the background. We started talking about what the world would have been like if that winters night continued on and on and on forever, and just like that we voiced it out, Evig Natt (Eternal Night) and it stuck. Evig Natt was born out of that night’s gloomy darkness and we felt it described our music and feel perfectly.” Never been to Norway but, given the nature of the music we get from that country, the name is perfect. Kirsten went on to provide a general overview of the band; one that is clearly focused on the geographic and cultural themes associated with their region, “Evig Natt’s sound is best described as aggressive but subtle, noisy yet beautiful, a raging maelstrom of melancholic darkness. We hail from the unholy metal grounds of Karmøy, west Norway, and follow in the footsteps of Einherjer and Enslaved, featuring ex-band members of both.” She went on to talk about the evolution of the band, a process that concluded with the current membership, “Stein and I started Evig Natt as a studio project in 2003. We soon recruited Harald Magne as our drummer when recording ‘I am Silence’ in 2007. For ‘Darkland’ released in 2011, we completed the line up as is today with Ruben Osnes and Arne Marton Tangjerd on guitars. After our second vocalist Oskar Naley left, Stein was once again back on vocals for our third offering ‘Evig Natt’ released 19th of March this year.”

Well, that’s the story, that’s how we got to this release. And this release is a good one, I asked Kirsten what the set list might be like at Oktoberhallen, she wasn’t willing to commit but I think we can be comfortable assuming much of that performance will be drawn from what we have here, I certainly hope so. The release has a range of styles. We get the heavy stuff, we get the Gothic Doom oriented material, we damn sure get some beautiful, Kirsten has a voice.

We begin with the darkness. The Unkindness is a quick intro, complete with Norse sounds, crows, things that go bump in the night. But, they lead to an even darker. . . and pounding B & B track. . . How I Bleed. This one damn sure better be on the set list at MFVF or yours truly will be screaming; do you hear me Kirsten? This track is as good a B & B track as we will get in this style of music. And I mean that both musically and lyrically.

Well, much as I appreciate the English tracks on this release, I have to comment on at least one that is done in Norwegian. Stille Før Stormen is certainly a highlight of the release. I don’t think I need to do much in the way of interpretation, given this video. I’ve always said musicians do their best work in their native language, and I’d offer this one to substantiate the argument. Kirsten and Stein are at their best bringing meaning to the thoughts expressed in this visual, you don’t need to understand the lyrics to get the message.

But, those lyrics are worth commenting on. They’re good throughout the release. Again, Kirsten addressed on the topic, “The lyrical content in Evig Natt is usually based on real life events or derives from the feelings those events caused. When I write it comes, as cheesy as it sounds, from the heart and sometimes I just pour my inner feelings out on paper. I can’t stop it. A lot of the things I write about are people I have loved and lost, people I miss greatly, things that are within my reach but I just can’t seem to grasp, and life moving on with or without you, whether you like it or not. I guess they are thoughts and feelings that need to be expressed or I’d go mad. My hope is that our audience will pick up on that and we can share something together. (It’s better to suffer together than alone….right? Oooooh…the glooooom :D )”. Works for me.

Let’s take a look at some of those lyrics. In God I Grieve takes us down a gloomy road. The music pounds, we get that B & B that serves to define this release. But, as the male vocals pound and Kirsten wails, we listen to thoughts that define this genre:

In god I grieve, so many he forsakes / My shadow is cast the same way
even though I am not one to pray / Come now sorrows, burden my chest
Senseless you drink from the cracked cup / Shameless you swallow whatever’s served
He’s there for the weak, became a tool for the mighty / With neither I’ll ever belong

Bringer of Ice presents us with a crushing Gothic Doom Metal track that gives both vocalists a chance to take us to the edge. The production here is off the charts, we get vocals and background music that does the Viking world proud. But, you can’t appreciate the music, good as it is, without giving consideration to the themes presented in the lyrics”

A storms breath sought to keep thoughts at bay
Turn your back on my shadow cast your way / Swiftly dancing across cold walls
Seeking shelter in the light from shadow’s claws / Days are lost to eternities grasp
A quiet sob travels further than you think / Take heed before you wage your war
Nothing is as it was before / Take heed before you wage your war
Nothing is as it was before / My fingers are blackend by your firey touch
Bringer of ice you’ve scorned me

It would be criminal not to mention the final track, Weathered Emotion. With this one Kirsten gets to provide a working exhibit of one of the most emotional voices in the genre. The lyrics take aim at redemption:

In dreams, you’re never far away / You forgive me my sadness and say,
“Let your tears fall to the ground / The creature of us broke our hearts”
Will I escape this emptiness? / The void you filled, I cannot give up
Our hearts entwined, as one they sound

Another one I hope to hear at Oktoberhallen.

Evig Natt is Norwegian Gothic. You don’t need to say much more than that to make it interesting. This one flames with sounds and thoughts that only the Viking mentality can communicate. We are swept up into a musical landscape that lifts us to a different place, a place where we go beyond the every day experience and catch a glimpse of the eternal. MFVF will take a Viking drift, and we will enjoy the ride. I’ll be front and center, expect wonderful things.