The Northern Chronicles was performed and recorded by Thomas Narverud (aka Sysselmann) as a tribute to the collective consciousness of the northern parts of Norway. Imagine the rough Norwegian coast line with its enormous fjords and dangerous sea. The first track, Coastal Fairway Northbound, takes the listener immediately to that scene. The horns are blowing.
Thrilling soundscapes with field recordings of waves and seagulls under ritual drumming create dreamy images of Viking ships sounding their foghorns. Sharp icy winds on the track Stormwatch carry the cold atmospheres of endless winters. The crunching wood of the drakkars sound dangerously under pressure of wind and water. The Northern Chronicles album has a balanced rituality and convey a haunting darkness. Transmigration and Juniper Tree Song do lift this release to higher standards in the ritual dark ambient genre. Enigmatic soundscapes evoke unknown emotions and could even frighten some Nordic gods behind the dark clouds of Walhalla.
The drones are submerged in esoteric and meditative choruses. It felt like moving on Stygian waters reflecting white shades of doom. The more we listened to this album the more we got hypnotized. Plains of Passage and Journey Across the Ruins contain some more experimental and industrial reflections. The profound droning on the last two tracks end this awesome expedition.
The field recordings on this
album were captured over a two year period. After seven winter storms in as many days, the idea of The Northern Chronicles was born. With this birth, the light disappeared in the evening dusk of the magical Norwegian coastal landscapes. Sysselmann enchanted us with this beautiful obscurity and is more than welcome to deliver more of those illusionary creations in the future.