Temple of Torturous (2011)
Straight from the deep and black forests of Germany we get Fyrnask, a young and relatively unknown solo project. "Bluostar" is the project's first full-length and not a bad introduction to the band, I have to say, although it isn't perfect. Still, a really good effort from an act taking it's first steps in the jungle that Shamanistic Pagan Metal is.
Things start out with a semi-ambient intro which takes you away from your computer screen and places you right in front of the campfire, in the middle of the night. Whatever there is around you simply doesn't exist. Not right now, there might be when the album's over but right now... Absolutely nothing.
The drums are rather sloppy which in most cases isn't a good thing. Here, though, it's a good thing, because it helps you deny the fact that they sound way too digital and sometimes are on the verge of destroying the atmosphere the album otherwise creates very efficiently. That shamanistic and trance-like feeling you've searched for in Black Metal ever since you first heard Burzum.
Besides the music the cover of "Bluostar" deserves to be mentioned here. Not all covers are a work of art, but At the Ends of Earth Design have created a timeless classic in my opinion. If I had known of Fyrnask's debut back when I sent in my list for all things great in 2011, I'm not so sure Zombi's "Escape Velocity" would have been my choice for "album cover of the year".
In the end it's the much mentioned shamanistic atmosphere that lies over this album that wins this reviewer over. The album has it's faults but what they are is hard to point out when it's much easier just to forget yourself with "Bluostar" in your headphones.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Eyvindur Gauti