Nortt reemerges after 10 years with darkly depressing emotion, cavernous sorrow on ‘Endeligt’

It’s a new year, and people’s attitudes mostly are at their brightest. The page has turned, and everything that built up and held us down in the previous 12 months can be washed away. We can look ahead to things being different, and positive thoughts are brimming.

So, with that in mind, we probably could have begun the coverage year with a record a bit shinier than Nortt’s “Endeligt,” the project’s first new sounds in a decade and one of the more depressing pieces of music unleashed in some time. I know that sounds a bit hyperbolic, but when you take on these nine songs, you’ll know exactly what we’re on about. Over these 39 minutes, the sole creator Nortt unravels slow, dreary, draining tracks of black funeral doom dressed in dripping piano notes and horrifying cries. This is the project’s first music since 2007’s “Galgenfrist,” and it landed in our laps just days ago before 2017 breathed its last. It’s Nortt’s fourth full-length overall, and it will shroud you in darkness that doesn’t let go until the final track fades away.

“Andægtigt Dødsfald” has a strange atmosphere as it starts, as churning doom opens and spills, and pianos begin drizzling. Deep growls make the earth shake, as the slowly devastating doom rolls on, ended with funeral bells. “Lovsang Til Mørket” opens in eeriness, with the guitars unloading blackness, and the melodies feeling mournful. The track lurches and scrapes the ground before bleeding to its finish. “Kisteglad” is a short instrumental that chews into the nerves and leaves your body writhing, leading into “Fra Hæld Til Intet,” where howls echo, and clean guitars soak the ground. The ache spreads, while pianos drizzle, and the growls creep into your chest and punish your ribcage. The song seems like it’s heading toward its end, but it reemerges with monstrous growls and a depressive last stretch.

“Eftermæle” keeps the slow, icy pace intact, with the growls bubbling under the surface, and the pianos even further darkening the mood. Slow drumming keeps drubbing as black clouds collect overhead and block out the sun. “Afdø” is immersed in clean guitars before the bottom drops out, and emotional melodies well up. The growls lather and roll through elegant sadness, while the melodies thicken your blood in the veins, leaving you a plodding mess. “Gravrøst” is another instrumental, this one built with cavernous pounding, a funereal tempo, and noise collecting and eventually fading out. “Støv For Vinden” is windy and chilly when it starts, like winter reaching through your layers and reddening your flesh. A moody haze sets up, while gripping growls and dark piano let blood drops fall. The song changes itself halfway through, as things manage to get even more depressing amid a flood of warm electrics. The closing title track is utterly frigid, unleashing echo-rich pounding and shivering guitar work. It’s easy to imagine snow collecting on the ground, burying all life and refusing to relinquish its control, with all life disappearing into a void.

Fittingly, “Endeligt” translates into “finally” in English, and that’s a word a lot of people (ourselves included) likely exclaimed when Nortt reentered the world. This is music that won’t help to establish happy and helpful New Year’s resolutions and instead will push you further into your cave. This is an emotionally, psychologically heavy package, a creation only Nortt could have given the world.

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