'Imagine… Imagine the wolf chasing you.Into the woods. And you tumble. And you rise up only to feel the strength of the wild knocking you to the ground, tearing you apart. As you feel its rage separate your arms from your body, as you feel its terror wrathfully killing you, as you feel that for once you feel one single thing… And this last pain is all you sense the moment before you fade into nothingness. In this nothingness a new experience will haunt you forever.
Norwegian black metal in the vein of… former Slagmaur. Part two in the trilogy The Art Of Olderman. 2007’s “Skrekk Lich Kunstler” is an album where the atmosphere is the main focus. This eerie, wicked tone continues in “Von Rov Shelter”. The mid-paced heart beating rhythms hit like hammers into your chest and dwell you within their discomforting, hypnotizing fields of darkness. Once you’re in, there’s no escape. There is no escape from these 33.3 minutes of horror. But the musical aspect of Slagmaur has improved. Or, to be more precise, the production is consciously done to reward the patient listener. If we stick to the drumming, the guitars and the voice in themselves, “Von Rov Shelter” is perhaps not the album you’ll play over and over again. But the elements of discomfort, of joy, of dimness…
In “Lange Knivers Natt”, my favorite track, there’s a section from ca. 2.22 to 2.39 where a string section fades in and really gives me the chills. The reason I point this out is that I have to admit that even though I had listened well to the album more than 10 times, I didn’t notice this until I heard it in headphones. And now, listening to it without headphones it’s insane that I didn’t hear that from the beginning. Without mentioning all those other elements that also appear after several spins, I can only assure you that there are plenty.
Still on the same track, I must bring up the last 59 seconds. The first few times I felt that this section was totally out of place. It was like, why did they arrange it like this? You sit there, you’re uncomfortably numb and suddenly, just like that, the music turns 180 degrees. It’s like “hey, you pig, wake up from your numbness and defend yourself”. And as the wolf goes huffing and puffing and blowing, you run and hide in your house of comfort... …in vain, of course.
Some elements outside the use of the basic elements are obvious to the ear and easy to recognize even after the first spin. The way Slagmaur has incorporated the string section four minutes into “Klåkker Tramp” is amazing. Lasting for 29 seconds and then repeated once more 15 second later, this is out of this world and worth every minute you invest on the album.
Slagmaur gives us original black metal, a unique sound picture and an album that grows with every listen.Add to this a booklet that simply screams “you must buy this instead of only downloading the music”, the conclusion is that “Von Rov Shelter” is a creation for the wicked, by the wicked.'