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Anima Nostra – “Atraments” – [Malignant Records]

animanostra

Anima Nostra is the duo of Nordvargr (Mz.412, Toroidh, Folkstorm) and artist Margaux Renaudin, a newcomer to Industrial music. This 2017 release can probably be considered a follow-up to the 2016 ‘Anima Nostra’ album released on Cold Spring under their own names.

The components of the sound are recognizable to Nordvargr fans — thickly distorted synthesizer, gruff growls, Martial Industrial beats, mournful ambience, manipulated samples of religious chant, creepy-crawly repetition — but never before has this indestructible Swedish noisemaker combined his different sonic interests so seamlessly into one statement. The end result could be called Industrial Doom Metal, Neo-Classical, or Ritual Ambient, depending on which part of which track is playing. Recent fusion experiments from the Karjalan Sissit bunker came to mind, as well as fellow Swedes Trepaneringsritualen (who designed the cover using Renaudin’s calligraphy) and Sanctum.

It’s almost redundant to compare Anima Nostra to other groups in this vein, though, because Nordvargr himself helped found the Black Industrial cult of Scandinavia decades ago. He has continued to reinterpret and refine his sonic ideas since. His young collaborator seems to inspire him towards even stranger territory, like the opera valkyrie on t.4, the crisp gothic organ drones on t.5, the French whispers on t.6, or the bizarre metaphysical lyrics, which are as frustratingly oblique as other motifs here. The theme may be on the evils of language; perhaps the “atraments” are the printed inks we use to construct our flimsy psychic realities?

“All words are abuse,” says the booklet, so I’ll stop abusing this great CD. Play it.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 25, 2017 at 6:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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