Ginnungagap is one of the many names rich in that ancestral fascination that only mythology (in this case Norse mythology) is able to give us to effectively describe, as is the case here, a nonplace, a space-time void capable of fascination and annihilation that has always fascinated and annihilated anyone who has tried to look beyond the narrow confines of our microcosm. Ginnungagap is also the title of the monumental new album by U.S.-based Seidr, a band unknown to most and with only one full length, For Winter Fire, dating back to 2011, to their credit so far. The insertion of these musicians from Kentucky within the funeral death doom genre, as much as there may be the prerequisites on an attitudinal and conceptual level, appears indeed a bit forced, since the work, spread over two CDs for a total duration that verges on an hour and a half, touches on several of those genres that, in metal and beyond, are capable of repelling in a nanosecond those who in music are only looking for something to hum in the shower or to use as background during their daily activities. Wanting perforce to categorize Seidr‘s musical style, one could affix to it a label of the cosmic doom metal type without equally doing justice to the varied nuances that ours manage to include in their seething cauldron of sound. More than ten minutes of drones, samples and assorted ambient noises are the introduction one might expect from those who know they have plenty of time to set to music an interminable interstellar journey, before A Blink Of The Cosmic Eye really takes shape coming to deliver a chilling finale, with the guitar able to evoke reminiscences of the Mahavishnu Orchestra (listen from minute 14 onward to believe…). But recounting a work of such dimensions by means of a “track by track” description is neither necessary nor even functional, not least because during listening the record flows like an oppressive and at the same time fascinating sonic monolith, which at several junctures turns into a veritable spaceship, capable of landing from time to time in varied musical galaxies. Progressive, post-metal, funeral, folk, ambient drone welcome from time to time this cosmic pilgrimage, in the course of which the songwriting eschews the staticity that often characterizes certain doom manifesting itself, in reality, as a continuous flow in constant becoming. Seidr do not hesitate to leave out a single note, a single cue generated by their compositional process, and this constitutes both merit and flaw at the same time, because, if the almost maniacal accuracy that distinguishes the record is undeniable, on the other hand, a shorter overall duration would have further benefited its usability. But, in any case, those who are willing and able to devote an hour and a half to listening to Ginnungagap, at the stroke of the last note of the concluding, splendid and cyclopean Sweltering II: A Pale Blue Dot In The Vast Dark, will surely get such satisfaction from it that they will not feel they have wasted their precious time. At the antipodes of disposable music, Seidr have conceived an immense work, and not only because of its length.
2013 – Bindrune Recordings