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Ved Buens Ende - Written In Waters CD (album) cover

WRITTEN IN WATERS

Ved Buens Ende

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 50 ratings

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Trickster F.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Progressive Metal's response to Univers Zero.

Ved Buens Ende is an exceptionally fascinating three-member piece, that had the misfortune to spring in the same scene with various Black Metal artists in mid 90's. Having had the courage to go far beyond the strictly situated edges of what is acceptable within the genre, the group dared not to play the same style of music as their compatriots and instead used their sound as one of the many influenced incorporated within the final result of this record. Their music being of avant-garde nature and lyrics hardly typical for the usual "extreme" Norwegian mindset, the musicians also did not feel their superiority over other nations and races, and were not radical in any way rather than their surrealistic approach to creating genre-breaking, edge-cutting compositions. In the end, it seems logical that they had little success within the scene, however, it is regrettable that the lack of such acclaim made them split up after just one single full-length album together. Not to mention members' occupation in various other groups, as, regardless of how interesting this creation gets, it is merely a side project that they would abandon to move on to completely different ideas.

Written in Waters is an album clocking at just under one hour and is one massive atmospheric creation that does not hurry anywhere. The songs presented here are linked together and are connected with a theme of insanity, sharing the moody, menacing and melancholic vibe and bizarre musicianship. Their approach to structure is mind-boggling, and hardly fits anywhere. One could say that Ved Buens Ende is Norway's answer to Univers Zero, which happens to be one of their influences and which they tend to share some discrepancies with. In a way, the music can be called minimalistic. Apart from the use of a female vocalist accompanying Czral on the seventh track, a noise jazz section just preceding the acoustic reprise of the following song and a short piano and accordion based outro, the effort's instrumentation consists entirely of Vicotnik's distorted guitar, Skoll's bass and Czral's drums. Nevertheless, the consequence is quite intriguing. Vicotnik delivers bizarre Voivod-influenced riffs throughout the album, managing to create a hypnotising effect that does not diverge even for a second, as well as some Black Metal-influenced guitar playing. His acoustic guitar playing is strictly limited to specific parts of the disc and is not meant to the mood. Victonik is lower in the mix than it is usually acceptable. Skoll, mainly known for his output with Ulver and Arcturus, is flawless and remarkably audible as usual. Those who are familiar with his other works will know what to expect from him, as it is one of the bass players with their own personal style, that is revealed conveniently. Czral's presence behind the kit is just as mind-boggling, and is an important figure in making the album what it turns out to be. It may seem appropriate to note that the album is being moved by its rhythm section and atmosphere rather than any memorable melody. 90% of the vocals are clean, although this is not a style you hear too often. Czral puts on a crooning style of singing here, that sounds threatening and mad, yet by no means over dramatic or corny. The style is especially suitable for the music. The high shrieks - a rare sight here - do not appear too often, as even moments with blastbeats are occupied predominantly by the same croon; they are also below other voices in the mix.

However, as unconventional as the musicianship is, Ved Buens Ende would not be the same without their intricate moods, which are sometimes melancholic, sometimes ominous and sinister. Hardly going for creating any catchy melodies or vocal lines, their music forces the listener to forget about everything for an hour and dive into the sensual world they have crafted. Fans of general Progressive Metal have nothing of interest here, nor are people looking for something easily digestible, as accessibility is not applied here. It is recommended for people looking for a subtle, unusual musical adventure and ready to approach it seriously. Written in Waters should take considerable amounts of time to swallow and has to work in specific moods. Consequently, its qualities and extraordinariness is what makes it a strong record, which people of the corresponding taste should not miss.

A perfect combination of atmosphere, technical skill and experimentation.

Trickster F. | 5/5 |

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