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VED BUENS ENDE

Experimental/Post Metal • Norway


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Ved Buens Ende biography
Formed in Oslo, Norway in 1993 - Disbanded in 1997 - Reformed briefly in 2006

VED BUENS ENDE (meaning "At the end of the rainbow") was founded by Carl-Michael Eide(drums, vocals) in 1994. Joined by former members of groups of the Norwegian Black Metal scene Hugh Steven James Mingray(also known as "Skoll", ULVER)and Yusaf Parvez(DØDHEIMSGARD), the musicians aimed to write music outside the limited borders of the scene. Their first release, a demo EP titled "Those who Caress the Pale" and consisting of five tracks rooted in Black Metal, was recorded and distributed in 1994 through Ancient Lore Creations. Meanwhile, the writing process for a full-length album has begun under the influence of such artists as COIL, UNIVERSE ZERO and SWANS, as well as classical music. Signed under Misanthropy Records, the group released a follow-up to the EP during the October of 1995, their first and, so far, only full-length titled "Written in Waters". Still influenced by the atmosphere and the vibe of the Norwegian Black Metal scene, yet not so much influenced by its aesthetics, the album was way ahead of its time and perfected the group's ideas, developing a surreal, unique and avant-garde sound which hadn't been achieved by anyone before. Revolutionary and challenging, VED BUENS ENDE's debut is an album that predicted the rise of a Norwegian scene commonly referred to as Post-Black Metal. However, the project somehow didn't move on as its members were too busy with their numerous other groups.

Fortunately for us all, VED BUENS ENDE have reformed in 2006, replacing Steven James with Petter Berntsen on bass and adding a new drummer Einar Sjursø, both from Eide's other project titled VIRUS, allowing Carl-Michael to stick to vocals and guitar duties. Their second album is planned to be recorded the same year and released in 2007. Stay tuned!

VED BUENS ENDE's only album so far, "Written in Waters", is highly recommended to all intellectual fans of Progressive Music, including but not limited to avant-gardists and fans of the Norwegian Post-Black scene; as it is not merely a landmark of Norwegian Progressive Music, but also an atmospheric, brilliant, timeless record.

Author: ivansfr0st

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4.21 | 64 ratings
Written In Waters
1995

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3.08 | 10 ratings
Those Who Caress The Pale
1997

VED BUENS ENDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars Extreme metal without being extreme metal: 9/10

Undoubtfully, it requires an amazing dose of skill to capture the gloomy and perverse atmosphere of black metal without needing to appeal to the incessant brutality of thunderous blast beats, tundra-cold power chords, and barely audible demonic shrieks. To achieve this, VED BUENS ENDE ventures further beyond any contemporary extreme metal act of theirs, into territories of technical innovativeness both rhythmical and melodically to achieve a mesmerizing atmosphere...

of seduction, or better yet, of confinement. WRITTEN IN WATERS is murky, unhopeful and quite ethereal. Rather than visiting a dreamy sphere of fantasy, VED BUENS ENDE traps un in darker plains, to the lands where the cruel lord inhabits, where magic is wicked, the skies are always pitch-black haze and the breezes always blow unpleasantly cold and uninviting. The trees, withered, the lake where the swans swim, polluted, the dwellers, always with vicious smirks and ill intentions. In fact, WRITTEN IN WATERS' cover conveys a lot of the emotional concept within the album; of a twisted, doomed alternate dimension. Such spectacular world-build is perhaps VED BUENS ENDE's paramount achievement with their debut.

Many factors were significant for such achievement. We have the guitar riffs, with their distortion and muffed reverb but also careful structures not to sound sloppy. One may also cite the rhythm, competently leading the songs and their moods, always peppered with fluid drum fills and lots, LOTS of cymbals. Certainly, the clear vocals, beautifully sung but, audibly, concealing vile second thoughts (perfectly resembling an exquisite villain such as a classy vampire), alternating with the sporadic but spine-chilling ghastly shrieks (prominent in Den Saakaldte) offer a lot to the atmosphere. Even the lyrics, with their cryptic abstraction and suspicious naughtiness implied, are important factors to VED BUENS' twistedly built world.

This album is not brutal. It does not permeate anger, violence, cruelty, antisociality. It is not, either, cold, distant, emotionlessly efficient. It is not like a snowy Norwegian forest. It is a thoroughly supernatural, vividly bleak and incessantly innovative trip. It manages to be extreme metal, to be atmospheric black metal, without tackling the many characteristics that make black metal, well, black metal. Taking a detour, thinking out of the box, VED BUENS ENDE is a truly progressive extreme metal act which, even though wasn't able to emerge from obscurity, is highly recommended for people who are seeking creative metal acts, or maybe just experiencing finely-crafted atmospheric black metal with very little demonstrations of aggressivity.

"Leave. Leave... the misery of the swans, the sand smothered on our chests... was music choir..."

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.
 Those Who Caress The Pale by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.08 | 10 ratings

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Those Who Caress The Pale
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Those Who Caress The Pale' - Ved Buens Ende (6/10)

Although released officially in 1997, 'Those Who Caress The Pale' is a demo that predates Ved Buens Ende's full-length opus. It does seem somewhat redundant to hear this album after hearing the fulfilled vision of the band on 'Written In Waters', but as it stands, 'Those Who Caress The Pale' is a very good demo that shows plenty of the potential that the band would later go on to realize in greater detail. As anyone who has heard 'Written In Waters' can attest, the band has a very unique sound to them, one that twas years ahead of its time and much different from the typical Norwegian black metal that the band was surrounded with. While 'Written In Waters' makes quite a bit of the material here obsolete, there is thankfully enough stuff not yet heard to make this a worthy listen of its own.

Much of the music here is dominated by abrasive, harsh riffs and the decidedly un-metal crooning of vocalist Czral. Many of the songs here would later be re-recorded for 'Written In Waters', with musicianship and especially the vocal performance being tightened up for it. Here, I get the sense that the band is just as capable as they were on the full-length, but they were less meticulous about it, moreso wanting to get the music out, rather than focusing on the details. This shows, and much of this demo is muddy and obscured by a fairly thin production that some would say was typical of the black metal scene of the time. The standout tracks here are the same ones that managed to find their way onto the full-length, although for a Ved Buens Ende fanatic looking for a few extra minutes of dissonant riffing and maniacal vocals, this recording is far beyond what I would normally expect of a demo.

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team

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.

 Those Who Caress The Pale by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.08 | 10 ratings

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Those Who Caress The Pale
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Those Who Caress the Pale" is a demo release by Norwegian avant garde extreme metal act Ved Buens Ende. The demo was originally released in 1994 on cassette tape but saw a CD re-release through Ancient Lore Creations in 1997. The re-release features the bonus track "Insects, Part I" and is probably the most readily available version. The demo led to the band signing with Misanthropy records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Written in Waters (1995)".

At the time of the release of this demo, Ved Buens Ende consisted of Vicotnik (Dødheimsgard, Code, Manes, Naer Mataron) on guitars and vocals, Skoll (Arcturus, Fimbulwinter, Ulver) on bass and Carl-Michael Eide (Dødheimsgard, Aura Noir, Cadaver Inc, Infernö, Virus, Satyricon, Ulver) on drums, guitars and vocals. This was also the three-piece that recorded "Written in Waters (1995)".

Ved Buens Ende is a rather unique act with a unique sound that is both raw and aggressive but at the same time melancholic/atmospheric. The music sometimes reminds me of the most raw Voivod albums mixed with primitive black metal but with strange twist and turns and haunting deranged vocals.

Out of the five tracks on "Those Who Caress the Pale", "The Carrier of Wounds" and " You That May Wither" are also featured on "Written in Waters (1995)" but the rest are tracks didn´t make it unto the album. Both "A Mask In The Mirror", "The Plunderer" and the instrumental "Those Who Caress The Pale" are great tracks and should be of interest to fans of the band while the CD version bonus track "Insects, Part I", which consists of insect noises and tortured screaming and yelling for a couple of minutes before there is silence for about 4 minutes until the insects noises reappear, isn´t really much of a bonus to my ears.

The sound quality isn´t professional but the lo-fi sound production still suits the raw music well. All in all "Those Who Caress the Pale" certainly is a worthy purchase to fans of the band. Newcommers should probably start with "Written in Waters (1995)". A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pnoom!

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.

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.

 Written In Waters by VED BUENS ENDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.21 | 64 ratings

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Written In Waters
Ved Buens Ende Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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