Fyrnask – “Siaidha” (Stereogum Premiere)
One-man black metal acts are, generally speaking, not the most outgoing folks, and as such, covering (or even discovering) those projects can be unusually difficult. Take, for example, Fyrnask: the musical identity of a German guy named Fyrnd — just Fyrnd, which Google-translates (from Icelandic) to “statute barred” or “archaic quality.” Fyrnd is set to release his second album as Fyrnask, Eldir Nótt, which follows a 2011 LP, Bluostar. Forget anything like touring; he’ll probably never even show his face in photographs (this is as much as you’ll get). Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the mystery — especially considering the degree to which social networks have eliminated any wall between artist and audience — but with almost no earthly or virtual presence to speak of, it can become awfully easy to lose a band like Fyrnask in a consonant-heavy swirl of other one-man black metal bands: Fyrdsman, Frykt, and so forth (fyrth?) ad infinitum. And that would be a fucking sin because Eldir Nótt is an absolute revelation. Like Wolves In The Throne Room or Altar Of Plagues circa Mammal, the album feels like a thing of nature itself: like Big Sky country in pre-dawn hours, like a flash flood in the desert, like walking headlong into a blizzard. It is, at points, quiet and placid, but even in its fury it feels like a spectacle to behold rather than a flurry of blows by which to be beaten down or charged up. It’s got a rich, full, powerful sound, similar to other obsessive one-man auteurs such as Blut Aus Nord or later Leviathan. It’s just one of the year’s best pure black metal releases, and I’m afraid it’s going to go undiscovered, and I gotta do what little I can to stop that from happening. So today we’re streaming “Siaidha,” Eldir Nótt’s penultimate track and one of its most soaring highlights. Listen.
Eldir Nótt is out 9/23 via Temple Of Torturous.