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NORDVARGR  Pyrrhula  LP   (Cold Spring)   32.00
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Another exciting vinyl reissue from Cold Spring's back catalog, reviving one of the label's darkest and most imposing black industrial / black ambient albums. This 2021 vinyl edition of 2008's Pyrrhula is on wax for the first time ever, and features a completely restored and "refined" remastering specifically for the vinyl format, sourced from the original masters. Recorded during the colder months of 2008 at Henrik Nordvargr Björkk's headquarters at Villa Bohult, Sweden, this thing is a creep-show, and has been one of my all-time favorite albums on the label, from that morbid image of a withered husk of a bird's corpse that appears on the cover (imagined and realized to chilling perfection by artist and graphic designer Abby Helasdottir), to the mercilessly doom-laden electronics and ritualistic death-drone of Pyrrhula's music....it's one of those discs that really crawled under my skin. Here follows the old 2008-era review of the CD edition that I published for the initial release:

Even with all of the Nordvargr-related projects that I've written about here at C-Blast, I still never know what to expect whenever a new album comes in from the mighty Swedish dronelord. Each of the guises that Henrik Bjorkk Nordvargr has taken on - the blazing noise-damaged black metal overload of Vargr, the satanic industrial of Goatvargr, the martial ambience of Toroidh, his seminal black industrial group Mz.412 - all point to different methods of sculpting fearsome black blots of sound, but even in each of these specific projects, Nordvargr continues to explore all possible extremities with a seemingly endless ability to evolve and mutate. The last few releases under the Nordvargr banner (Helvete and the The Betrayal Of Light collaboration with Mz.412's Drakh) have brought us expansive black ambience populated with ominous machine-like sounds that inhabit a terrifying black void between the subterranean drones of Lustmord's Heresy and the satanic black murk of later Abruptum, and on his latest album Pyrrhula (which translates to English roughly as "Doomlord"), Nordvargr returns to his hellish cemetery-cities with an even heavier approach.

The eight track disc is based on old Swedish folklore concerning a bird of ill omen, referenced in the quote that's featured in the album sleeve: "‚ÄúBeware the small creatures of light, they only bring misery and death upon the enlightened ones. For they will paint their breast with blood and reap your unborn angels.‚ÄĚ Each track is a crushing mass of sinister black ambience flowing into the next, formed from grinding doom metal riffs adrift in seas of inky, subsonic drone that are skillfully crafted into multi-layered movements of shifting shadow , Jerry Goldsmith-esque Omen-style choral voices (on the feverish "Stripped Of All But Loyalty I Serve" that closes the album), bleak Lustmordian isolationism, demonic chanting, guttural moaning that sound like cave-dwelling monks throat-singing miles below the surface of the earth, massive low-end drift, distant clanking machines looped over and over, ghostly whale-song ululations, washes of dissonant orchestral strings that exude pure evil. As terrifying and bleak as anything else Nordvargr has come out with, but with an added level of metallic heaviosity that was only hinted at on Helvete. The perfect aural counterpart to Hieronymus Bosch's The Last Judgement, and essential for fans of the blackest ambient a la Endvra, Burial Chamber Trio, and Black Seas Of Infinity. I'm a fervent admirer of pretty much all of Bjorkk's work in its various forms, but this record is a particular standout of ghastly atmospherics that really does come highly recommended over here.

Cold Spring's gorgeous-looking and immense-sounding new vinyl reissue is released in a limited run of five hundred copies, pressed on 180 gram "pale amber" vinyl.


Track Samples:
Sample : NORDVARGR-Pyrrhula
Sample : NORDVARGR-Pyrrhula
Sample : NORDVARGR-Pyrrhula