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

WRITTEN IN WATERS

Ved Buens Ende

Experimental/Post Metal


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Trickster F. (BETA) | Report this review (#96338)
Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It´s hard to do justice to such a classic album but I will try. First of all I would like to comment on some of the things said in the biography of the band here on Prog Archives.

Ved Buens Ende does not translate into At the end of the rainbow ( people might think this is any rainbow) like it is said in the biography. It translates into At the end of the Bow, which is a reference to the Bifröst rainbow in Nordic mythology. secondly it is said that because main man Carl-Michael Eide ( drums, vocals) drafted new drummer Einar Sjursø from his project band VIRUS he is now able to concentrate on playing guitar and singing. There is a whole other reason for this change. On the 26th of March 2005 he plummeted from a five-story building in Oslo. Severely injured, he underwent two major operations immediately after the event. Carl-Michael Eide would spend the next 18 months in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics as part of his recovery. He is now paralized in both his feet and ankles and thus cannot play drums. This is a classic example of black metal madness, and I wanted this to be in the review for you to understand who wrote this music and what it meant to them and to some of us. Carl- Michael Eide ( aka Czral) also played in the progressive and very innovative black metal band Dødheimsgard and before his time with Ved Buens Ende he played drums in Satyricon.

Ved Buens Ende also include bassist Hugh Steven James Mingay( aka Skoll) who played with bands such as Fimbulwinter, Ulver and Arcturus. The last in the band was Dødheimsgard´s Vicotnik on guitar and vocals. All very known musicians in the Norwegian black metal community.

The music on their sole album Written in Waters is not classic black metal though, which is of course why they are included on the Prog Archieves. The music is in black metal territory though, and some riffs are closely related to traditional black metal while others sound like early Voivod. It´s pretty simple music even though the structure of the songs are very untraditional and there are many riffs in each song. The overall mood on the album is that of sadness and despair. Some parts are pretty agressive but it´s not the dominant mood here. There are some growling on the album, but mostly the singing is clean. It´s not beautiful singing though. This is done with a strange attitude. The tempo is mostly mid and slow but there are faster parts too. There are some parts that could be called repetitive but I think they underline the mood of the album. The production is kept pretty primitive but you can hear everything that´s being played.

I think this is a landmark album for progressive metal and therefore it is a masterpiece. I would recommend people who like this album also to get Dødheimsgard two last albums: 666 International and Supervillain Outcast as they have a similar experimental approach, which is not so strange since 2/3 of Ved Buens Ende plays in Dødheimsgard. For now Written in Waters is highly recommendable.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#158489)
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rating: B+

Extreme metal isn't one of those genres typically thought of as beautiful, and that's a sad oversight on the listeners' parts, since some of the most beautiful music ever released is extreme metal, particularly black metal. There are some of the more obvious examples, like Wolves in the Throne Room, who craft long songs inspired by the forest, but even the most brutal of black metal, such as Ulver's Nattens Madrigal, contains distinct beauty behind the guitar fuzz. When it comes to Ved Buens Ende, this beauty is well pronounced and readily apparent to the discerning ear. Mixing the dark, oppressive atmospheres of Univers Zero with mind-melting black metal riffs and drumming that touches on both jazz and black metal blastbeats, Ved Buens Ende play metal that's heavy enough to keep the dedicated metalhead involved, but which doesn't beat the listener over the head with its metallic edge, meaning that even those who don't see much worthwhile in metal will find much to enjoy in their music.

Ved Buens Ende only ever managed one full length, but they gave it everything they had, and the result is a masterpiece. The sound envelops the mind during listening, creating a wave that washes over the listener, riding a riff until it crashes into a fantastic climax. These riffs are repeated enough to give the song continuity, but are never allowed to overstay their welcome, instead shifting when the flow of the CD demands it. As such, nothing seems forced; everything is relaxed and reasonably easy-going (yes, even during the heaviest, most brutal sections of the CD).

What is perhaps most incredible about Written in Waters is its pacing. Some of the riffs blaze by at a hundred miles an hour, but the CD never seems rushed. It takes its team to get where it's going (but, as I've mentioned, never too much time). The result is that the listener is constantly riveted while listening. At no point does the listener have to wonder how the CD got to where it is, since every step is clear along the way.

Of course, despite all of that, Written in Waters still remains an avant-garde metal CD, and that means that it's no easy listen. The vocals range from beautiful to black metal shrieks to avant-garde moans, and they help to keep the listener off-guard, rather than letting him (or her) ignore the music due to predictability. Also, the juxtaposition of jazz drumming with blazing metal riffs is sure to catch more than a few listeners napping, at least at first. If nothing else, it helps Written in Waters avoid sinking into metal clichés.

As far as individual tracks go, there isn't much to say, since all of them are reasonably similar (both in sound and in their extraordinarily high quality), but "I Sang for the Swans" and "Remembrance of Things Past" are my favorites. Those two do the best job of utilizing the best aspects of the CD while entirely avoiding the weaker aspects of it (which are incredibly rare, fortunately). Other than that, all I have left to do is to assure you that this is indeed a masterpiece, one of the best metal CDs in recent years. Extremely recommended.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Pnoom! (BETA) | Report this review (#163976)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tapfret
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Psychedelic Syd Barrettian Metal

Sub-genre:Tech/Extreme Prog Metal (Some thrashiness of its death metal roots, but far more experimental and ethereal/psychedelic than their counterparts)
For Fans of: Voivod, Virus, Metal fans with an appreciation for early Floyd?and vice versa.
Vocal Style: Melancholy mid-range melodic with the rare evil warlock/robot sound. Sylvan female vocals appear as well.
Guitar Style: Highly textured electric vintage fuzzy distortion.
Keyboard Style:None
Percussion Style: Standard rock kit played very open with frequent thrash beats.
Bass Style: Picked electric
Other Instruments:
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you want your metal to grind or hate your psychedelia to be anything but flowery and kind.

Summary: I was not fortunate to be aware of this band at its birth. In fact, 1995 saw progressive metal just beginning to solidify its following in its most generic forms. The idea of incorporating the dissonant and dark musical nuances of avant-garde and the spaciness of the late-60's into metal was only peripherally explored by Voivod. My experience with this band came after my exposure to their follow-up incarnation, Virus. Experiencing the evolution in retrospect possibly adds to the mystique of VBE. The sound is certainly not as matured as Virus, but provides an effective roadmap to its latter incarnation.
The undercurrent of the album is steeped in melancholy. The overall sound is echoing and distant, at times difficult to grab the context from the murk. Not in an unpleasant, annoying to listen too way, but in much the same way a reader is riveted to a mystery in which the conclusion may ultimately deeply disturb, but equally entertain. At times the sound conjures images of the Manson family, flower children twisted and wilted by headstrong madness. Indeed the strongest influence one can capture outside of the death metal undercurrent is that of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd.



Final Score: This is not quite a 4 star album, but I am rounding up a 3.7 for pure innovation sake. The point losses come almost exclusively from recording quality. Though some may argue the production is as vital to the essence of the project as the composition.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Tapfret (BETA) | Report this review (#300817)
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Written In Waters' - Ved Buens Ende (8/10)

Ved Buens Ende is a legendary band in the Norwegian black metal scene. Although not coming too far after the pioneers of the infamous second wave of Norwegian black metal, they had a sound that was vastly different, going down a much more experimental route, while keeping all of the same eerie atmosphere that makes the genre of black metal so appealing to some. Although this band eventually revived in the form of Virus, Ved Buens Ende only ever released this one full length, 'Written In Waters'. Although the career of this band may have been very short, it is massively influential, and seen as the album that largely laid the groundwork for avant-garde black metal. With that information laid down as a precedent, it is understandable that the music here is quite challenging to get into. However, there is method to this madness, and while I found myself having to revisit it many times to really 'get it', 'Written In Waters' is an exceptional piece of Norwegian metal.

Let it be said that Ved Buens Ende were years ahead of their contemporaries. Their sound is somewhat related to the more recent work of Deathspell Omega, and Blut Aus Nord. The point I should bring up is that those two bands made their mark even a decade after 'Written In Waters' was released. In other words, it was a real pioneer, doing things for black metal that were pretty uncomfortable at the time. Most of the vocals here are cleanly sung in a gloomy baritone, with only a few traditional black metal rasps to go around. The guitars are very percussive and dissonant, often alternating between very abrasive black metal riffs and sombre moments of dark psychedelia. There are plenty of echo and reverb effects to go around here, and gives the whole thing a very otherworldly feel.

The songwriting here is made even more challenging by the somewhat muddy production, which obscures parts of the sound to the point where a listener might even hear things that aren't necessarily there. As far as the writing here goes, Ved Buens Ende are masters of making melodies that can be plenty memorable, without necessarily being pretty or beautiful. Although a track like 'Autumn Leaves' gives the listener a respite from the darkness and frantic feel, these human moments are fairly few and far between. The majority of 'Written In Waters' revolves around strange, percussive textures, and a very bleak atmosphere. The vocals here are particularly distinctive, although they will certainly take some getting used to for some listeners. Czral's delivery is not aggressive, but it is unsettling, perhaps somewhat akin to Maniac's vocals on Mayhem's 'A Grand Declaration Of War', except much fuller in their sound.

The real jewel here are the less traditionally 'black metal' elements of this album. The speedy passages are energetic, but admittedly little more than what I would typically expect from a Norwegian black metal band of this era. However, it's Ved Buens Ende's vanguard experimentalism that makes the album so great, and keeps the music engaging despite its somewhat bumpy production.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#549954)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ved Buens Ende put forth on Written In Waters a bizarre style of avant-black metal, reeling from genre to genre like the Norwegian corpsepaint crowd's answer to Mr Bungle. Able to lurch suddenly from esoteric jazz-metal noodling to furiously raw black metal rants - and, even more impressively, make this sudden shift sound perfectly natural - the band's sound lives up to the album title: anything you assert about their music is a statement written on water, true only momentarily and then rendered meaningless the next time their sound shifts. Latter-day black metal experimentalists who haven't heard this one already would be well advised to do so, because there's a long way to go yet before your average avant-black band manages to catch up with what these guys are up to.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#933009)
Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | Review Permalink

VED BUENS ENDE Written In Waters ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of VED BUENS ENDE Written In Waters


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.13 seconds