Every once in a while you come across a release that is so peculiar that you don’t know what to do with it at first. Snøgg is such a band. As you review bands and their releases it is always hard to find a good balance between doing right to the release itself and trying to frame it within the broader musical genre of which it is a part. Especially in (black) metal people are very aware of certain boundaries and subgenres that are at play. This can make it very hard to review a release. Qivitoq is such a release.
Snøgg is an experimental extreme metal band from Slovenia. They have been around for three years now with a very unstable line-up. At first it was a duo, then it was a band but when they decided to go on tour, the driving force after Snøgg called Ulv went on his own. The live recording of this tour was the first demo released by Snøgg. It seems weird to go on tour by yourself to play a set. Now they are a duo again since Mørke joined the ranks again.
Similar to bands such as Virus and Ved Buens Ende they take on a more transgressive and jazz oriented approach to making black metal. The style of the music is very raw and primitive just like it was done back in the early 90s. Don’t be mistaken however, this is not just another kid wanting to make crappy music just to resemble the conditions under which the first Mayhem or Burzum CDs were recorded. It is done in a contemporary way in the sense that the sound is raw but the music itself is thought through and more sophisticated than it was before. At some points they even have more atmospherical passages in the vein of Agalloch and others.
What makes the music of Snøgg experimental is the way they layer their music. At one point they play very raw and primitive, at other moments they play very eloquently and atmospherical. It doesn’t stop here however. They make use of a lot of noise elements. On the opening track Alien Nation you wouldn’t expect to hear a metal release but more some kind of power violence experiment. The vocals are arranged in such a way that they make the listener feel uneasy, at some points they are very distorted and reverbed and might look like they came straight from a Revenge or Archgoat or any other War Metal song. At other moments during this EP they are just normal extreme metal vocals and even spoken word. When they are not focussing on complete annihilation of your eardrums and spirit they play some kind of dissonant and heavy jazz compositions.
All in all this is a very surprising release from a very unknown band that will probably only convince a handful of listeners around the globe. For those among you who like the work of Lugubrum, Circle of Ourobouros, Todesstoss and Urfaust be sure to give these guys a chance and become one of that handful of fans! You can find the EP on Bandcamp and on Youtube:
Release date: November 20th, 2016
1. Alien Nation
2. Nun Attack
3. In Death, Erection