Review by Jack on May 13, 2003.
It is really hard to describe what a horrifyingly morbid and utterly pitch black dark release this is. This is ambience that you could not possibly put on at 11:00 PM and fall asleep to. You would be grabbing your pillow in sheer desperation and horror as "Awaken" sits and stares at you; prodding at your thoughts, mocking you as you lie there horrified, too scared to move from your bed, too weak to reach for the remote.
Nordvargr for those of you who don't know (which I would imagine is quite a number) are a Swedish outfit that specialize in creating dark ambient soundscapes. "Awaken" is no exception.
Nordvargr with "Awaken" have composed the sort of murky drapery that you would expect to find lurking in a pitch black alley, ripe with blustery wind, toppled over trash cans and spurts of air coming from the vents in the concrete. "Awaken" is subtle, and seeks to tap into your mind, rather than beat it senseless with a steel pipe. It is clear that Nordvargr were not aiming for a record that would knock you out with one fell swoop, but rather than album that would grin at you from the very depths of your mind; teasing and taunting, daring you to play "Awaken."
Bottom Line: If someone said modern day Ulver on a serious spout of depression and spending too much time in abandoned warehouses would be a similar sort of entity to Nordvargr and "Awaken" I would be inclined to agree with them. Where you go from here is up to you...
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.1 out of 10