Moments of clarity

Fossbrenna Creations. It has been a long time since I started this thing. My main “goal”, or vision, has remained the same all along, even though I have articulated these ideas in different ways throughout the years. “Fossbrenna Creations is no longer bound to any particular genre – atmosphere, feeling and essence is hereby the only key aspects” it says in the “About” section. However vague, this is the core of it, and I think it will remain so in the future as well.

It’s like nature. Always different, always the same.

In the beginning, it was all about black metal. Or rather: my view of black metal, which also changed a lot over time, naturally. Very well. The experience was intense, passionate, real. The situation sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You manage to express what you want to within these frames. It’s almost like you don’t need anything else.

For a while.

Then things start to change. The endless debate about “what is” and “what is not” becomes slightly tiring. Always these definitions, limits, borders. Excluding this, excluding that. The constant narrowing. For some it’s strengthening, assuring, safe. Great! For others it’s somewhat claustrophobic and artisticly suffocating. Not so great.

I came to think about all this by a coincidence. Or, I have of course thought about it many times, over and over, but it became particularly clear to me today, when a moment of intense nostalgia rushed through me. I took a walk in the forest with an album in my ears I haven’t listened to in several years, I believe: the first self-titled album of Borknagar.

Here is one of the best tracks off this magnificent album:

It’s not black metal (no “satanic” elements, musically divergent from genre milestones), it’s definitely not folk (despite the folkloric vibe), it’s not really anything else either. In fact, I think it’s rather original and unique. The atmosphere and feeling of this album is really something special. I cannot think of any other piece of music that makes me feel this particular way. It’s very harsh and inaccessible in its own way, yet when you get to know it, it breathes and grows like a living thing. Very organic indeed.

Fifteen years after its release it still stands out as a rock solid album. Both the full tracks and the interludes are splendidly woven together into a steady whole. And that whole is a remarkably honest and authentic, and not overly romantic, portrait of nordic nature as it is.

Great musicianship (probably one of the best performances Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg ever did in metal, by the way) is neatly combined with the raw and the primitive here. It’s simple, yet complex. Again, like nature. The emotion it evokes is hard to describe in words, but this album definitely possess what’s needed to stand out. There is nothing trendy about it, whatsoever. It doesn’t belong to any particular “wave” or “current”. I guess I like that.

By no means, I do not compare Borknagar to anything released on Fossbrenna Creations. However, it’s a good example of the intrinsic quality of atmosphere I am striving for. Strong, passionate and honest in its obscurity. Even slightly unorthodox and original. What a terrific combination.

Borknagar moved on to new territory which I cannot really relate that much to, but it doesn’t matter. Their first album will always be very special to me. It was one of the albums I listened to a lot in the early days, and it had, together with several others of course, a deep impact on the formative years, and thus also on the spirit in which Fossbrenna Creations was founded.

It’s good to know that it’s still possible to go through “portals” (i.e. the nostalgic moments) like these, backwards in time, to experience the purity of the early visions once again. It can make one focus, and make one remember what one really wants. Let us hope that the simplicity of youth and the complexity of experience combined can make great things.

In the meantime (while we’re waiting for great things), we are working to finish four (!) new Fossbrenna Creations releases. More information (names, titles, etc) to be announced soon.

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5 Responses to “Moments of clarity”

  1. Óskar Jökull Says:

    I share your ideas of what atmosphere, feeling and essence extreme music such as black metal should have.
    There is an certain element of self-destruction (for a lack of a better phrase) involved in pouring such great efforts as many bands such as Skuggeheim and One Tail, One Head do into an obscure scene and medium that takes their music to a new level.
    It’s all too easy to throw together a couple of unoriginal riffs, record them with a 4-track and call it “true” and it’s exactly this method that has alienated me from most modern obscure black metal. This mold makes extreme music of this sort too easy for the uninspired.
    The magic happens when you take great talent and apply it to primitive and obscure concepts and methods, not so that the artist’s efforts are lost, but so that the art gains greater depth.
    Fossbrenna Creations is doing much to uphold this standard and I look forward to listening to your coming releases.

  2. elisabeth =p Says:

    hello fossbrenna 😉

    når ere disse fire nye utgivelsene kommer a ?? ser mørkt ut eller ?? =p

  3. This album turned my interest towards black metal… one of most important if not the most important albums in my collection!

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