Distributor/Label: Akslen Black Art Records
Distributor/Label website: https://www.facebook.com/akslenblackart/
Released: 2nd of January 2018
Buy Album: https://minneriket.bandcamp.com/album/anima-sola
Band Website: Minneriket
Stein Akslen – Vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards
Frederik Rex (Guest musician) – Guitars, and Bass
(track 2 & 6)
1. Tro, håp og kjærlighet
2. An All Too Human Heart
3. When Life Gets Sick, the Dead Grow Strong
4. I Am the Serpent Son
5. Between Infinity and Melancholy
6. Det lyset jeg ikke kan se
7. Sorger er tyngst i solskinn
8. Alle hjerter banker ei
9. Smerte, skjønnhet og Satan
10. Time for Suicide
In recent years, the Norwegian scene has been surpassed by the Finnish and French black metal scene, and so, receiving a new Norwegian album to review is always a delight with the hope that it will be one of those releases that does honour to what once made the Norwegian scene such a great scene. Minneriket is a one-man band that started in 2014 and has released several full-length albums in that time, which have all been released on Akslen Black Art Records. The label is owned by the only band member of Minneriket: Stein Akslen. It seems the band uses digitally-produced drumbeats, because none of Minneriket’s albums lists a drummer. The band also released a video (for ‘Tro, håp og kjærlighet’) for the album currently under review, and it is actually a decent video which I enjoyed watching (the only thing I disliked about the video, and the band’s photography in general, is the fact that the band doesn’t use corpse paint, which orthodox black metal fans, such as myself, consider a mandatory feature and needs to be done properly).
The opening song captured my attention immediately and was incredibly good, especially the vocals were very much to my liking and reminded me of Abbath at the time of ‘Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism’ (this is a compliment as that album is in my top 5 of best black metal albums ever). But, the vocals equally remind me of Gehenna at time of ‘Malice’. Although the music itself didn’t particularly not stand out, the vocals did and so far I liked this album. The next four songs were all in English, whereas the remaining songs, except the last song, were in Norwegian.
Again, the songs are good, the music could be better (less synths, bit slower), but the vocals kept making up for them, and vocals have always been very determining for black metal; no matter how good the music, if the vocals were bad, then the album wasn’t good (enough). Some of the vocals even reminded me of my own band, which was interesting. With the songs in Norwegian there seemed to be a move to more experimental songs. A good example of the more experimental songs was ‘Alle hjerter banker ei’. Some of the songs were a bit too fast for my liking, the speed mainly driven by the artificial drums. However, that was a minor issue.
‘Anima Sola’ gives us almost 56 minutes of Norwegian black metal and the compact disc is limited to only 50 copies, and my verdict is that it is worth it to buy this album. Although nothing new is on this disc, it is a good album and one that I will listen to again when I am in the mood. It is a band to keep an eye on, and it will be interesting to see how the band develops. I do hope that the band will start using an actual drummer.