Ved Buens Ende - Written In Waters review
|Band:||Ved Buens Ende|
|Album:||Written In Waters|
|Release date:||October 1995|
01. I Sang For The Swans
02. You, That May Wither
03. It's Magic
04. Den Saakaldte
05. Carrier Of Wounds
06. Coiled In Wings
07. Autumn Leaves [feat. Lill Katherine Stensrud]
08. Remembrance Of Things Past
09. To Swarm Deserted Away
What can anyone say about the most radical album ever written in black/avant-garde metal history? "Written in Waters" is the first and only full-length album of Ved Buens Ende, but it can indisputably be described as "one of the best" or "classical". And this title shouldn't sound extravagant. If there's an album that single-handedly opened the minds of black or avant-garde metalheads, this is the one. "Written in Waters" is a journey to the unknown, inexperienced and bizarre side of black metal, though it trespasses its territory. It attempts a completely different approach to emotions, hard to follow at the beginning, but very rewarding in the end.
Black metal should consider itself lucky, judging by the fact that three of its most energetic and inquisitive superstars joined forces under the name of Ved Buens Ende. Subsequently this album is packed with their personalities and talent. First of all, Vicotnik (Yusaf Parvez) unfolds his Indian origins by creating a rather simple technically, yet psychedelic and fiery guitar-barrier that has never been witnessed in metal genre before. Secondly, Skoll (Hugh Steven James Mingay) presents his finest skills by composing his most elaborate and expressive bass-lines ever, showing once again that he clearly belongs to the elite of (black) metal bassists. Last but not least, Carl-Michael Eide -the baron of avant-garde metal- becomes the reason why amateur drummers should abandon their hopes for a heart-felt, genuine and hyper-technical way of playing. Imagination unveils its true meaning in every strike of cymbals or toms. As for the vocals, this is maybe the most remarkable work of "Czral" (on clear vocals) and an almost surprising participation of Vicotnik (on grim vocals).
The music itself has a lot to offer. The awkward part of avant-garde metal is present, as all songs are difficult to comprehend. However, there's something familiar and warm in the sound that steadily kindles emotions, song by song. Crazy, almost oriental riffs and relatively fast rhythms pave the way to a melancholic -almost mournful- ending. Psychedelic moments are succeeded by bursts of breath-taking blastbeats with Vicotnik's harsh and raving vocals or slow parts that increase the tense. Reaching the end of the album, the songs become gloomier and Eide's expressive and insane voice sounds more sentimental (accompanied by Lill Katherine Stensrud in "Autumn Leaves"). The epitome of the band's endeavour lies in the final two tracks: "Remembrance of Things Past" and "To Swarm Deserted Away", where passion and emotions emerge from the first one's ending guitar and the second one's accordion(!). When it comes to the term "atmosphere", this musical expression leaves all the others far behind, pointing out that no highly wrought effects, keyboards, fill-ins or female vocals can substitute feelings.
Apparently, it's a virtue trying to be simple and open-minded when it comes to expressing thoughts and emotions. Ved Buens Ende taught us this lesson better than anyone, defining perfection with their debut/swansong. Their history ended abruptly, but the myth remains: the one of a piece of music way ahead of its time. If you're a fan of avant-garde metal, this album is essential. If not, consider it a chance to expand your musical horizons.
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