Gnosis of the Witch - Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar 12” MLP
Iron Bonehead Productions
Review by Trevor Proctor
Gnosis of the Witch is a US based atmospheric black metal band steeped in a degree of mysticism; it consists of two members - Swartadauþaz who plays drums along with Niðafjöll who looks after guitar, bass, vocals and ambience. Initially formed in 2013 their debut release was Rún Af Inn Auðr, first released in June 2013 on digital platforms and recently released on cassette via the Darker Than Black label - the cassette release was also reviewed on The Lair of Filth website by Jude Felton, so give it a read for some further info on this seriously good band.
Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar was written in November 2013 and will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions as a 12” MLP on 1st August 2014. Bonehead’s knack for spotting talent is second to none and with Gnosis of the Witch they have, yet again, unearthed pure musical gold; Gnosis of the Witch’s atmospheric black metal draws inspiration from Dark Germanic mysticism and magick with all vocals sung in the Old Norse language.
Opening track is Ek Bjóða Inn, a strangely hypnotic instrumental; its bewitching chants and moans combine with seemingly random drumbeats and eerie background effects to create a blackened, magickal yet ominous atmosphere - for its three and a half minutes duration Ek Bjóða Inn captures and holds your attention; subtly drawing you into its trance-like, mesmerising, almost hypnotic world to the extent the three and a half minutes seem to fly by in a matter of seconds - this is extremely captivating and highly addictive music.
Ormar Eitr follows, starting off fairly quietly with a clean yet haunting riff that returns periodically during the track; you’ll hear it a few times but mark my words it’ll be stuck in your head and you’ll hear it again and again for days to come. The unbridled, savage, black metal which follows just over two minutes later is a total contrast to this calm beginning – aggressive, heart-felt and charged with an abundance of commitment and emotion the track builds and builds as Gnosis of the Witch ply their trade with the greatest of skill along with a passion many bands merely aspire to having. The fact the vocals are screamed and shrieked in the Old Norse language adds to the overall feel and authenticity of the music – the passion, heart and effort put into this track and entire recording are abundantly clear.
Side B sees the aggressive black metal continue unabated with Svartr Úlfar Blóð; however the track soon breaks into a quieter keyboard section, creating a brief respite and adding an atmospheric edge to the track that illustrates Gnosis of the Witch have much more to give us other than savage black metal. The keyboards accompany the music extremely well, generating a backdrop that Gnosis use to build guitars and drums before catapulting us once more into a maelstrom of flat-out black metal at the track’s conclusion. Dauðiþursar Seiðr is the final track; much slower in pace throughout and again featuring a keyboard section that’s used effectively to create depth and variation to Gnosis’ sound, whilst the pace doesn’t quicken to that of the two previous tracks Dauðiþursar Seiðr is still every bit as stirring, authentic and emotional – the vocal in particular stands out as Gnosis draws a close to an unbelievably good MLP.
Whilst instantly accessible Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar is also a grower of a release that rewards the listener and burrows its way a little further into your conscious with each and every listen – there’s so much more to Gnosis of the Witch than authentic and heart-felt black metal - yes there’s an abundance of that throughout the MLP but it’s only the beginning of what Gnosis have to offer; a fascinating, intriguing band that we’ll hopefully hear a lot more from in the future. Brilliant, ambitious, faultless music from beginning to end.
1. Ek Bjóða Inn
2. Ormar Eitr
1. Svartr Úlfar Blóð
2. Dauðiþursar Seiðr.
Gnosis of the Witch - Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar 12” MLP is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on 1st August 2014.