Album Title: 
Istid I-II
Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Review Type: 

Finally! It took long, way too long, but now, after nine years, Northaunt finally return with a completely new epos. Hærleif Langås worked on it as from 2003 or 2004 until 2014, but the result is truly impressive: eighty (!) minutes of truly amazing and atmospheric Ambient, available on double compact disc (edition of 700 copies) and on vinyl (double-LP, limited to 300 copies, with one black and one white disc, and co-produced with Tesco Organisation). It goes on, and further, in the vein of the former album, Horizons, which was different from both first recordings.

Once the world was alone, the landscapes had no names and there was no one to see them. An endless number of ice age dawns came and went unseen. The idea of this world, the world as it was before man, inspired me [Hærleif - ivan] throughout the composition of these tracks. Roughly separated in two parts, one representing the light, the unburdened world before man, the other a much darker side of the same place’. This quote from Hærleif lifts a tip of the curtain in order to comprehend the spirit, the idea, the concept behind Istid I-II.

Istid I is the part that deals with the lightened side of our globe’s existence, Istid II starts from a darker point of view. Yet the whole Istid-saga makes the listener dream away. As a matter of fact, this is the aural expression of Nordic / Arctic landscapes and the glorious forces of Nature and our beloved planet, translated in mordant sound-waves of floating Ambient. Indeed we are guided through raw and previously unexplored, yet deeply-beautiful visions of natural purity.

The long-stretched compositions are built around floating soundscapes on synth, conceived from a mostly naturalistic point of view. No, it’s not really ‘Music’, yet an aural translation of journeys through archaic and forgotten dimensions, ‘landscapes transformed into aural emanations, enabling the listener to in turn be able to journey through those barren and foreign lands through the mind’s eye’. It does not mean introspection, like we known from sad, desolate aural directions, though I think that escapism joins both directions.

Conclusion is that Istid I-II therefor is not a listening album, yet rather a meditative experience (no paddo’s needed). Because of the length of the individual compositions, as well as the total recording, not everybody will be able to fully understand and undergo this epos. But if can appreciate material from the likes of, let’s say, Vinterriket, Moloch, Winterblood or Nebula VII, or the former album Horizons (which was the first for Cyclic Law for Northaunt; some other projects Hærleif is involved with are on this Canadian label too, like Therradaemon or The Human Voice, as well as the Mulm-collaboration), then you will adore this album for sure.