Nymörk - Vintervandring (Raw Mix) (2013)

Hi guys. Today I'm so underground you'd need a shovel to dig me out. This black metal demo I'm about to discuss has very, very few copies out there, and it was released just a couple of weeks ago. Because I am a very special person, and a very important one as well, I was one of the first ones to get a hold of this cd. Suck on that.

Nymörk is a young black metal band from Tromsø, Norway. The band represents an interesting cultural and musical hybrid. The mastermind behind the band, Coryphaeus, is a Frenchman himself who's found his place here in the north - but due to his multi-cultural and adventurous past, he writes Nymörk's lyrics in Swedish. I can definitely hear also his Frenchness in Nymörk, which, combined into the Nordicness, creates this interesting cultural mixture.

Nymörk released their first 4-track tape demo last year (Midnattsolens skuggor). The demo had its moments, and you could definitely hear the potential of this band in some of the songs (e.g., Midnattsolen), but the production was extremely raw. "Extremely raw = extremely black metal" seems to be a common opinion among people who live for black metal (anarchy against mainstream production and whatnot), but for my sensitive hifi-ears it is often difficult to hear the goodness that might or might not be there, smothered under layers of noise. That is why I was very excited to find out that the new demo consists of only one song, which was also featured on the first demo, but this time with a seriously well-thought and prepared production. With a real producer, Christian Berg, who was also responsible for bass, keys and programming on this demo, whereas Coryphaeus was able to focus solely on singing and guitars.

The evolution from the first demo is striking. Vintervandring is still far from mainstream, but the magic that's been done by carefully bringing out the best of each part, has definitely been worth it.
This song is not black metal in the most brutal sense. For me, the main feeling I get from it is a melacholic, partly romantic beauty - a very natural one - that's created, for example, by the combination of acoustic guitar parts to verses, where tremolo riffs are backed up by a slow drum beat. Coryphaeus' vocals were one the weak parts on the last demo, simply sounding like he's not very used to shouting and screaming for longer periods of time, but this time the singing is a lot better: It is well-timed, and a distorting filter has been added to soften the sharp edges. The guitars are maybe the strongest element on this release. Atmospheric riffs definitely don't need to be super fast. The acoustic parts are absolutely beautiful. Precise yet playful drums finish the package.
The Frenchness I mentioned before manifests itself in a romantic form, as I can say that there are a few very Alcest-inspired parts in the song. The French cannot run from their romantic nature, it seems.

In conclusion, I can say this is a very good demo for such a young band. The unfortunate fact is that I can't share the song with you, since, at least so far, it is strictly limited to very few cd copies. However, if you're extremely interested, try contacting me or the band themselves to get your own copy.

Score? 8,5/10. I predict a bright future for Nymörk.

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