This disc has all the haunting winds and background rumbles needed for a glance at the inner abyss, albeit one EVP short of appearing on a television ghost special. Subtle instrumentation, such as the ethereal piano and guitar on “Af Døde,” allows “Galgenfrist” to build bridges into the dark subconscious more so than it generates catharsis.
As a one-man composition the release communicates loneliness and introspection quite well, and indeed many artists might serve their creative juices well with NORTT playing in the background.
In terms of musical composition we find no clear genius here, but the overall effect is smooth and soothing. NORTT plays with a transparent Black Metal influence. His tones and guitar work carry sufficient distortion and treble, but not enough to produce an overall shrill that detracts from the fidelity. The funerary instrumentation on this release features excessive sustain and frequent guttural overtones. At times the piano sounds nailed into hard wood by its pedals, but in a good way.
Fans of Metal’s more subjective works will find much to praise in “Galgenfrist.” Its simple approach and thorough attention to creating a darker presence make the release quite accessible as background noise or a tool for introspection, and with any luck NORTT will continue to deliver comparable works in the near future.
(Online June 3, 2008)