Angst Skvadron - Flukt
Agonia Records
Experimental Black Metal
8 songs (34:24)
Release year: 2008
Agonia Records
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

For all its dizzying flights over icy mountains and trudges through dark forests, Norwegian Black Metal rarely lifts its gaze above the surface of the earth. Sure, we have Switzerland’s Darkspace if we want a trip into space, but the closest a band from Norway has got to touching the interstellar void is Limbonic Art at their most electronic. Well, no more: a new project from T. Nefas, also in such interesting and diverse units as Urgehal and In Lingua Mortua (review forthcoming!) melds Hawkwind-y Space Rock and that classic Norwegian Black Metal sound to make something quite unique.

After the brief, bleepy, intro ambience of UFO comes the catchy pound of Silent Night Alien Night, sounding rather like Khold if they’d started around the same time as Darkthrone. Melodic leads meld with the bleak production to make something that is simultaneously modern and old-school. Closing with a repeated bass riff, it’s from here on that the album gets truly gripping, as A Song To The Sky mixes those strange alien synth sounds in to wonderfully creepy effect. You can’t help but see flying saucers hovering over the fjords, a shaky camera following each movement, until the grasp on an inhuman hand on your shoulder makes you jump… maybe it’s simply the result of too much X-Files, but Angst Skvadron’s extraterrestrial atmosphere is more effective than the vast majority of Satanic-chanting nitwits.

There’s something deep and layered about the band’s sound – a read of the credits shows that drummer L.F.F is also responsible for Minimoog, Arp Axxe, Korg Polysix, Hohner Clavinet D6, and Mellotron, all weird and wonderful old-school synths and organs from the heyday of the 70s, and this gives Flukt a subtle proggyness. The melodies that gyrate around tracks such as Negativitetens Kveletak stand up to repeated listens, and there’s plenty of variety in each track, well-placed female vocals adding a melancholic edge. All in all, Flukt is one of the best and most original Black Metal releases that I’ve heard in a while, and that’s without even mentioning the melody from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (one of my all-time favourite films) that opens the wonderfully-titled The Asteroid Haemorrhoids And The Drunken Sailor, a simply amazing piece of music that mixes several genres of Metal together to make an instantly catchy song driven by the keyboard lines.

It’s worth harping on about the keyboards, for an instrument so traditionally despised by Metal and especially Black Metal elitists is here made a central element, separate from the essential dark swirl of the traditional Blackened volley yet completely essential to it; the sky to the earth, you might say. Although the likes of Slaves Of Mental Distortion uses them deep in the mix if at all, the result is such a compelling sound that you don’t care. However, don’t hunt Flukt down expecting some epic blast of Metal that will be mentioned in magazines at the end of the year, oh no – this is strictly underground, strictly designed to appeal to individuals rather than the masses, and by its very nature will probably disappoint as many as it enriches.

Still, from a kvlt, Black Metal-centric point of view, this is pure gold. As the vocalist states on last track proper Beyond Andromeda, ‘I wonder what lies beyond’ – we all do, whether we know it or not, each time we glance at the endless sky, each time we finish another day of gutless existence on this life-sucking planet, and it’s that human yet essentially spiritual desire, that compulsion to go up into the Beyond, that drives us. Even if you only get a hint of that from Angst Skvadron, it’s still far more than the average piece of Metal grants you, and so is special. Even taking a dull, scene-specific focus, it’s proof that far more of quality lies in the Norwegian scene than people give it credit for. Hunt this down, try and ignore the final track with the superfluous and ridiculous orgiastic samples, and appreciate Flukt for what it is: proof that sometimes, when you stare into the intergalactic void, something gazes back.

Killing Songs :
Silent Night Alien Night, A Song To The Sky, The Asteroid Haemorrhoids And The Drunken Sailor, Beyond Andromeda
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Angst Skvadron that we have reviewed:
Angst Skvadron - Sweet Poison reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
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