Alor are a very young solo-outfit by Miguel Black aka Amarok, former member of shortly lived (yet productive) duo Lyset, and briefly active in Nangilima too. He created this piece called Haerfest at the end of 2013, and he had the opportunity to have it released via the professional label Northern Silence Productions earlier this year. Amarok did all instruments and vocals (there’s one single track with guest vocals), as well as the production and mix.
The concept of Alor’s Haerfest is based on the sickness called humanity, the force and beauty of nature, pagan legends and myths, and pantheistic belief, with a great deal of inspiration taken from the Scandinavian as well as the Celtiberian cultures and mythology.
Haerfest does not bring any kind of Black Metal, the genre (very generally seen) Northern Silence are known for. The album opens with the long track While The Fall Paints These Woods In Red. It is a track that has its connections with the Depressive Black Metal scene for sure, but without screams (whispered vocals instead), and pierced by elements from Post-Rock, Dark Metal and Progressive Music. I know; this is a description that can go many ways, but believe me if I say that there is no better way to ‘label’ this stuff. The song is built on both acoustic and electronic instrumentation, and this in a well-performed balance. Besides, the last part of the song (the last five minutes) are different, for this part is little heavier and strongly guitar-driven. When At Night The Shadows Rise… starts like a tolkienish sonic dedication. Do you see the legions of the Haradrim marching on? This piece is instrumental and chiefly acoustic, but of a very grim kind. Lundensgaturnar too is instrumental, mainly based on acoustic guitar riffs, and breathing a certain Neo-Folk-alike character. Next comes Näcken, which initially goes on where Lundensgaturnar ended. However, the difference is that it alternates in between neo-folky acoustic parts with spoken words and heavier pieces, carrying something I would like to refer to later Burzum anno two to four years ago.
Haerfest is a mainly acoustic album, balancing in between the likes of Neo-Folk especially and Post-Rock additionally, with some heavier pieces from the Pagan Metal-current. With some open-minded fantasy you might consider it a mixture of Orplid, Ulver, Agalloch, Porcupine Tree, Empyrium and Alcest.