June 22, 2014

Review - 'Gnosis of the Witch: Rún Af Inn Auðr'

Gnosis of the Witch - Rún Af Inn Auðr (2014)

Darker Than Black

Review by Jude Felton

Sometimes bands, and their records, are like buses; you wait forever for one to come, and then two come along at once. This can be applied to the mysterious Gnosis of the Witch, who along with this cassette release are also having their album hit the stores very soon, and we’ll have a review of that too.

Without dwelling too much on the latter, which was written last November, Rún Af Inn Auðr is the debut EP from Gnosis of the Witch. It was written around June of 2013, and originally saw the light of day in the digital format. This tape, however, does true justice to the six songs contained within; as the raw, unbridled savagery spills forth from the analogue format.

As I’ve often made mention, I’m not a fan of categorizing music, aside from a very generalized guide, for example black metal, death metal etc. It all gets far too fucking complicated, and I’ve seen stupid arguments arise from it, so I try to be as vague as I can, without leaving you completely out in the wilderness (a place where I am sure Gnosis of the Witch would find themselves very much at home!).

For the sake of this review though, I guess you could say that Rún Af Inn Auðr falls very broadly into atmospheric black metal. Although, that being said, the music itself is more than happy to play with any boundaries enforced on it. Sure, there’s a ton of atmosphere on display throughout the 6 tracks, but there’s also a beautifully stripped down raw, almost primitive execution on display. Don’t be misled by that though, raw and primitive does not mean that that music is simple or basic, or even amateurish.

Rún Af Inn Auðr is an EP steeped in atmosphere, dark and mysterious, with the two band members, who I am not going to attempt to spell out (okay, they are Niðafjöll and Swartadauþaz), delivering a cold, rasping soundscape that conjures up dark and foreboding environs. It’s immediately obvious that this is not an EP that was just knocked together; there’s depth, intelligence and research applied to all that you hear, as well as on the packaging.

Overall, this is one of the most impressive releases I have heard recently. It’s instantly accessible, yet also offers up layers to the music which will be revealed over time. I’m obviously not alone in thinking this, with Darker Than Black releasing the tape and the mighty Iron Bonehead have snapped up the release of the album, Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar.

Raw, majestic and a Behemoth cover to boot (Wolves Guard My Coffin), there’s not a lot here in which not to enjoy. Embrace the wild, for the wolves howl and Gnosis of the Witch provide the soundtrack. Excellent.


1. Lysa Inn Nøtt, Skyrr Inn Stjarnas
2. Draumar Um Niflheimr
3. Rún Af Inn Auðr
4. Nío Blót Við Inn Vomb Um Dauði
5. Verða Einn Með Inn Eitr Blóð
6. Wolves Guard My Coffin

Rún Af Inn Auðr is released on limited edition cassette (300 copies) by Darker Than Black and can be ordered in the U.S. from Ceremonial Void.

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