Fedrespor – Tid (2018) REVIEW

The easiest connection to make to this experimental Norwegian neofolk release is through the moaning grief and palpably ‘lost’ feeling of Varg Torden Saastad‘s voice. Originally formed as a side-project aimed at noise experimentation between members of the, now dissolved, black metal group Sekt, Saastad struck out on his own and changed the verve and style of the project to match his own vision. As with any reasonable man likewise disgusted with the insanity and chaos of the present day populous, Fedrespor aims a lens of ancient glass at the modern world and retreats from it. I would readily call this ‘nordic folk’ simply for it’s philosophies and geographical location but ‘Tid’ has a reach beyond the typical primitivism or nationalism, and is too holistic in it’s vision of existence to set in one specific place. In fact some of the finest characteristically Nordic neofolk I’ve ever heard is within, nakedly expressive in it’s cathartic release of sorrow and aching solitude.

Opening with the great yawning abyss that birthed existence, quickly connecting old Norse creation mythos with emotional resonance and the fleeting value of life, Saastad establishes his simply arranged and minimal instrumental palette quickly. Piano, atmospheric keyboards, an acoustic guitar, and understated percussion. The main instrument is his voice which typically accompanies layered acoustic guitar work. Saastad‘s vocal enters in the throes of emotional disrepair and finds a centered place upon “Gripedyr”. Evocative of grief and sorrow experienced after the death of his brother, this track is instantly genuine in it’s feeling and resignation. From there the instrumentation of ‘Tid’ essentially iterates on the atmosphere of it’s beginnings, never faltering but largely sticking with the same basic sounds and expression.

Without a lyric sheet or translation to guide me I was left focusing on the feeling of ‘Tid’ upon repeated listens and the tone of the vocals were clearly meant to evoke a man enthralled in both despair and greater contemplation. Though I am well-listened in terms of the hearing the Norwegian language without understanding it, the affect is not lost on tracks like “Unknown Self” where I’m sure the sorrow of the subject matter also sought some celebration of the lost. In this sense ‘Tid’ is a meditation upon the frailty and cyclical motions of life and less a pure headstone meant for loved ones. The music has themes of continuity and the forceful motion from birth towards death, intended in line with old Norse eddas, and seeks to piece one’s self back together after being shattered by the death of another. If none of this is tangible for the listener, or it all seems like projection, even still the genuine feeling of the performance is exceptionally cathartic as intended.

There is certainly great value in emotional release through music and in dealing with grief and loss with song Fedrespor has managed a meaningful, meditative journey that uses personal philosophy and ancient religion to press on. Again I’m no expert in the field of neofolk and nordic folk, with most of my listening coming from black metal and folk metal offshoots and side-projects, but I’m happy to hear music genuine in it’s purpose. Highly recommended for fans of neofolk and nordic folk alike.

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Artist Fedrespor
Type Album
Released April 20, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Nordvis’ Bandcamp! Follow Fedrespor on Facebook
Genres
Neofolk, Nordic Folk

Evige sår. 3.75/5.0

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