Onirik is a one-man project by Gonius Rex. He became fascinated by the genre after hearing a Darkthrone song on the radio in 1993. Shortly after, he started his first band, Mors Liberatrix. In 1998 he turned away from the scene, but, as many black metal fans come to realize at one point in their lives, metal never truly leaves you. It becomes a part of you. In 2002, Gonius Rex started this project.
According to the biography, the first albums were always written and recorded very fast, a bit similar to noise-producers maybe. Onirik didn't rehearse, didn't work too long on a song. In fact, writing and recording the music often lasted less than a week. Yet, the project seemed to grow and people were asking for more, even a live performance, which Gonius Rex hated. Now, Onirik is primarily a studio project, dedicated to bringing out some massive tunes.
The songs I hear on this album, sound far from improvised and recorded quickly. These are complex and mature pieces of black metal. Yes, there's is such a thing as mature black metal, if you don't believe that, you can sod-off. Darkthrone still seems to be a major influence but Onirik seeks further than that. Other names that come to mind are Immortal (mainly in the blackened vocals) and Rotting Christ.
There's plenty of variation on this album, both in vocals (blackened screams and choir chants) and tempo (from slow, atmospheric passages to intense blast-beats driven outbursts). The riffs are some of the greatest I've ever heard in this genre, certainly some of the most immersive ones. Some of them take on the complexity of psychedelic rock, but of course completely drenched in this eerie sound which black metal is mainly known for.
All of these elements and years of experience have resulted in a surprising album, versatile, haunting and brutal. My favorite tracks are 'Ascension and Descend' and the bizarre 'Disputant by Enlightenment'. I can only recommend checking it out if you're a fan of raw, intense but melodic and complex black metal. This certainly is a stunning album, perhaps one of the best solo-efforts I've heard in a while.