After 15 years Nordvis have re-released Lönndom’s 2004 dark ritual folk & black metal hybrid EPs ‘Hågkomster Från Nordliga Nejder & Norrskensritual’ (translated as Memories from the Northern Nights & Northern Lights Ritual) and combined them to a digi-pak CD release. The tracks were recorded in the far reaches of the northern Swedish wilderlands in an old house. The album comprises of a bare-bones/minimalistic or lo-fi collection of pieces – all diverse in style and approach – which seem to a conceptual or thematic set of tracks representing the stages of death and the transformation from the mortal to ethereal. A death-to-afterlife journey and celebration under the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis.
The ritual begins with the choral ‘Intro’ which begins the cleansing process as we hear the deep male chants and harmonic echoes that resonate through the void and align ourselves in preparation to fall into a cathartic state. And so we begin with the slow, blackened dirge of ‘Smell Mot De Förmultnande’ (roughly translated as ‘the stench of decay’) as we feel the necrotic power of distorted guitar, pained vocals and pounding rhythmic drums which range from the melancholic and funereal to the brutal in waves and movements. Lönndom have their own unique style mixing old-school nineties black metal with minimalist ritual folk and dreamscape ambient meditational pieces.
The next track ‘Omhuld av de Underjordiska’ (‘Embraced by the underground’) continues the metaphorical journey as our decomposing body is absorbed into the earth and we become fully connected or rooted. The black metal continues but becomes more melodic reminiscent of Saor, Winterfylleth, Caladan Brood or Gallowbraid – there is almost an air of glory or achievement as we’ve accomplished the final stage of being in the physical plane. We exit the track with the last three minutes being elevated into an enlightened state riding along waves of synthesised keyboards, almost Hawkwindesque into the ether.
‘Andlig Själ Utan Kropp'(spiritual bodiless soul), proceeds from the same heights left at the end of the previous track and becomes a flotational and meditative journey for ten minutes. We are transcended into another world free from the constraints of mortality as we blissfully unshackle ourselves from the material existence to the ethereal. It is a beautifully-crafted minimalist piece, almost dungeon-synth, but more spiritual with deep, primitive ritualistic chanting. One can visualise a crystalline pagan ice world where the gods welcome us in our new form. A cathedral organ welcomes our soul into the otherworld as we are peeled to our rawest form of being.
The concluding track ‘Norrskensritual’ is an epic 15 minutes long. Its ritualistic drones are intoxicating and takes us into an eternal realm amidst the psychedelic swirling of colourful gases in the cosmos. It sounds similar to Leidungr when the hand drums pound in a shamanistic fashion opening up ourselves to new dimensions in a timeless zone somewhere high above Midgard.
A recommended album for those who seek an audial supplement or guide to aid them on their spiritual quest to enlightenment away from the miseries of material existence.
Buy it from Nordvis here