Album Review: Ildjarn – “Forest Poetry”

November 14, 2011 in Vinyl Tap

Ildjarn achieved what most of the entire Norwegian black metal scene had been trying to do for over a decade with this release. There is little, if any, melody, structure, harmony, or traditional musical elements. Guitar, vocals, drums, and possibly bass are all mashed together in short songs that challenge the listener to keep up with the harsh intensity.

Songs consist of a few repeated powerchords, a very simple drum beat, and Ildjarn’s raw and rageful screams. There is little variation from track to track besides the riff order and tempo. Describing the music itself is fairly pointless; only by listening can one understand Ildjarn’s music.

Legendary for his misanthropy, Forest Poetry exemplifies Ildjarn’s ideals and attitude towards music. A rejection of everything traditional, this album is nothing more than straightforward “black metal” without the folk influences of Ulver or the ambient of Burzum. The images conjured up while listening to such tracks as “Sinking Deep” or “Deeping in Grey” are those of cold winter nights, frost covered hills, a lonely traveler hiking through dark Norsk woods. Forest Poetry is, at its core, pure. And with this comes a certain beauty that is lacking in even the giants of Norwegian black metal like Darkthrone and Emperor.

Often railed against for its terrible production, this album certainly does not excel in that field and makes “Det Som Engang Var” sound like the next Top 40 single. Perhaps Ildjarn was trying to further his “grim” and “kvlt” image or perhaps he just used what resources he had; the end result is the same either way. Forest Poetry is a trip down a long and winding road that entrances the listener from the first step and does not let up until the journey ends.

–Gareth Bk