Sunday, 18 May 2014

Tjolgtjar - Kjal Tjormejn (2012) / 87%

What is that? No idea.

I can't spell that name for shit, thank Satan for copy paste.

J.R. Preston is a busy man, when he's not releasing new albums with this one man band, he's doing it with Blood Cult, Enbilulugugal or plenty of other projects including a country one. Hailing from Illinois, the music has a obvious American Midwest feel and I really dig that.

Tjholtgtar being pretty productive (four full lengths released in 2012 but some of it is old stuff), it's a bit hard to get into them (or him!) and this album is perhaps not the best starting point. Might I suggest Ikarikitomidun, Lord of the Forest The New Age, the instrumental fun of Psychedelic or the conceptual horror of Halloween? The album is one song, forty two minutes in length so it's certainly not for people with a deficit of attention. Even though all his stuff is weird, some of it can be quite easier to assimilate.
The whole deal is kind of raw but the guitars are very audible and you can discern the riffs pretty easily, really. The riffs and leads are solid (such as the awesome bluesy licks at around 6:00) and I like the production on them, it's kind of crisp and dirty but it can be melodic and clean when it needs to be. There's even some acoustic guitars here and there such as in the final minute of the album. It gives a sort of bluegrass feeling and I really like when metal integrates unconventional genres like country or neo folk (such as the excellent Austrian band Cadaverous Condition.)

I guess I'll say it's more lo-fi than raw. It's charming and the songwriting fits the production quite well. I wouldn't want to hear that sort of music with a crystal clear Nuclear Blast sound. Fuck off plastic black metal! I think the do it yourself approach is what makes this relevant. It proved that a sound can still be rich and intricate without the need of a fifty thousand bucks production and the help of Peter Tagtgren.

The black metal core includes many different influences such as rock & roll, blues, psychedelic, grunge, progressive, surf rock, punk, etc... But everything is included as a coherent deal, nothing feels forced. You're not telling yourself “ohhh, here's a psychedelic inspired section” and “cool, clean vocals!”. The progression of the album feels natural and the flow is totally fine, a primordial concept in a one song release.

Preston is using some cool buried and weird clean vocals (he's better than Fenriz!) alongside his high pitched black metal screeches. There's not a lot of vocals, the excellent songwriting is the core of the album but they're pleasant enough and accordingly buried. Lyrically, it's about esotericism, mysticism and some sort of mythology I really don't grasp but it's fun. It's some sort of Indian primitivism, it's fucked up and a good fit to the eclectic out there music.

Definitely adventurous, Toultgtjar breaks the boundaries of taste to create an album that will only appeal to the most courageous listeners. This sort of lo-fi black metal has already a small fan base, mix it with this cocktail of influences and you have something totally fringe.

Recommended only if you're cool enough and like risks.


No comments: