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Nox Tenebrae is a piece in two parts for the uncommon combination of heavy drone-metal electric guitars and string quartet. Nicolai Abrahamsen and Jakob Thorkild obviously know their way around the Sunn O))) catalogue, but the inventive use of the Messer Quartet makes this a work that stands on its own. LP release on Kontentum.

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Nox Tenebrae - Part I & II by Nicolai Abrahamsen, Jakob Thorkild, Messer Quartet
1 review. Add your own review.
7 people love this record. Be the 8th!
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 08 March 2017

When Phil played this out of his crappy Mac speakers to see if we should stock it, there was an ensemble of nods from the Normanites going about their daily business, and a crease of evil pleasure on my face. Because this is an evil record. Oh, mama. The only info I can get on the artists involved is that Abrahamsen tweets in D major, Thorkild once released an album called ‘Art Sleaze’ and the Messer Quartet say they’re the first and only electric string quartet in Denmark. They’re either lying, or Denmark is absolutely tiny.

These Danes, under the banner of the Kontentum label, have combined rumbling, distorted guitar drone with general amp hissing and sorrowful, foreboding string phrases to create a banquet of evil that even Sunn O))) and Gaahl wouldn’t be able to stomach. It has very obvious crossovers with O’Malley’s lot, the ominous growl of the guitar never ceasing to sustain. But the string arrangements really elevate this one beyond, spending half their time being as mean as possible but somewhat surprisingly offering some peaceful fragility the other half, offsetting the constant gutteral amp racket.

The second side actually seems to have more of a riff going on, almost like on a super slow drumless take on a Black Sabbath doom riff, leading to a Godspeed-style raw tremelo shred-off. The strings take the reins towards the end, accompanied by some brilliantly black metal verses from the voice of Thorkild himself. Well I never.



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