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Review: Fanisk - Noontide

Label: Unholy Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 62:21
Tracks: 6
Genre: NS Black Metal


Review online: March 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.56/5 (91.11%) (18 Votes)

Fanisk (the name coming from an ancient word for Phoenix, the songbird of eternal rebirth) are about as obscure a band you'll come across nowadays, incorporating a plethora of different sounds into their style. Noontide is their official 2nd full length album (their 1st being limited to a super tightfisted 18 copies – but it's available to download if you search in the right places) and upon first hearing it early last year, it blew me away with its huge sound, both empiric and classical, whilst not being at all pompous or avant-garde.

At the beginning of the first track, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a dark ambient album thanks to the extended synthesizer introduction, which is similar to that of early Mortiis or Ildjarn's 'Hardangervidda' releases. This is until the drums slowly begin to fade in around the 7 minute mark, and when the album truly begins to shine. It sounds so huge! Echoing speedy riffs stopping and starting with reverberating chords chocked out in the time changes between each riff, it sounds as though it's recorded in a massive hall which adds greatly to the overall textures of the music. The rhythmically structured songs are interspersed with choruses of epic proportions, ranging from Bal Sagoth styled symphonies, to Emperor-like paint stripping brutality, before kicking out a riff that sounds like it's been lifted off of an unreleased Summoning album. Each song tells a musical story, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, melodies seeping from every second of its playing time (check out the incredible riffage in track 2 for example, it's worthy of any extreme metal album, rising and falling, each chord washing over you like a wave in a sea of mercury, with the euphoric ethereal sections taking your breath away in their choir-like ambience, before the synth-flute section kicks in with its accompanying triumphant guitar crescendo. Delightful and tantalizing – it's a beautiful thing to behold). Vocally, the lyrics are spat forth in a fuzzy haze of a black metal voice that ripples with distain, which is lowly set in the production so as to add a further percussive element to the sound rather than to take the listeners mind away from the immaculately written music behind it.

Although it isn't an instant album to love due to the fact that there's so much to take in upon the first listen, it really does take your breath away in an instant because of the sheer magnitude of the sound these guys create. If you haven't already, check it out to see what you're missing out on.

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