Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Seven harmonies of unknown truths


Artist: Ildjarn
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: Norway
Year: 1992 (2003)
Label: Independent (Eisenwald)

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This was another piece I got from the visit to Helsinki recently, among a couple of other things that I might write about later on. 

I own very few records by Ildjarn, since I don't have a large collection anyway due to lack of determinism. The other album being a split with Hate Forest from 2013, I figured out later on that it's Nidhogg tracks not even recorded by him, so this is what I have from actually Ildjarn

Seven Harmonies of Unknown Truths has the second best release title after the monumental Strength and Anger, and it's one of the very first demos by the artist. Of course, I have the reissue by Eisenwald, which was officially licenced by Ildjarn so it's not a bootleg or something. 

The liner notes inform the listener that this was "originally released as a demo tape in 1992 by Ildjarn and sold exclusively at Helvete record store". Metal Archives says there were only 25 tapes too.

The CD's package is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever bought, it has amazing designs by Tern, a great poster drawing by Marthe, it's minimalistic and pitch black as it should. There are extra vocals by Samoth, let's see if you can pick them up.

This version of the demo has the structure of eight tracks and not seven as in the original demo, because the first has been split into two parts. There are also names other than "-" for them, basically being the version that can be found here.
I don't want to talk about its music so much because it is very meaningful, to do a whole article around all of his music, with a playlist of the best and worst tracks. Ildjarn had moments of greatness and mediocrity, but I consider this project a genius like no other in the Norwegian scene. If someone is the embodiment of what the genre is all about, it's him. His attitude towards the music and life is the actual real meaning of a word that is ridiculed by fans and not fans alike today, "true".

The back cover here has a whole text split in seven parts, probably referring to each track, and a story is told alltogether. I don't want to write passages from this to urge you to find this release and buy it, but there is a bone-chilling message that gives life to cliche words like misanthopy and hate for mankind. 

It feels like Ildjarn is talking to you directly, and the words are cutting knives.

There has been many different facets of music in his discography, I believe his first steps do not depict the glory of later material. Most of Seven Harmonies of Unknown Truths is middle-paced and based on repetitive riffs, and that's enough.

Remember that very few artists have managed to create such a powerful atmosphere with a handful of notes only. I'm thanking this German label for putting this together and I hope more black metal was like this. Away from the spotlight for real, not sharing, isolated, cold, noisy, mesmerizing. 

A bigger series of posts might come for Ildjarn. I have parts of his music that I consider unreal, and others that don't deliver. A small part of the black metal community considers this the best black metal artist ever, and while I don't completely agree, I love it how he isn't mentioned in any major listings, articles etc...

Track listing:
1. Harmony I
2. Harmony II
3. Harmony III
4. Harmony IV
5. Harmony V
6. Harmony VI
7. Harmony VII
8. Death Dynamics
9. Harmony I (Remix)
10. Harmony II (Remix)
11. Harmony III (Remix)
12. Harmony IV (Remix)
13. Harmony V (Remix)
14. Harmony VI (Remix)
15. Harmony VII (Remix)
16. Death Dynamics (Remix)

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