goatvargr – black snow epoch (2010)

This is the second instance of influential post-industrial musician Henrik Nordvargr Björkk [Nordvargr] & prominent junk / metal noiser Andy O’Sullivan [Goat] pairing to form the obviously titled combination of both projects. Judging by the electronic exploration Björkk has gone through over the years, it would be fair to assume that he has handled the composition and digital inclusion, while O’Sullivan has kept his bare bones, harsh noise approach and signature sound to help fill out the collaboration.

Black Snow Epoch never shows any glimmers of hope on it’s pilgrimage, but the way their savage intentions are executed do shift from all out cataclysmic to more subdued and ominous with such finesse that the whole venture takes on a cinematic quality. Repetitive loops even define somewhat of a terrain for the chaos to work around throughout the first half of the record, gradually receding from fore to background as the immense weight of sound forges it’s way through the muddy catacombs. The fantastic artwork by UK artist and skater French also helps to set a predetermined mind’s eye for the music, much like Dominic Hailstone did for Necro Deathmort’s two releases.

Even without the artwork, the desperate end piece a black drum droning still leaves you feeling isolated, violated even, by the anti-journey experienced with Black Snow Epoch. Given that Goatvargr’s self titled release in 2006 didn’t deter them from revisiting the burial ground to resurrect similar ideals here, it would be a disappointment to see this project sacrificed for good.