22 Apr 2022 - Jonas
Post-Metal | Suicide Records | Release date: 22 Apr 2022
In the beginning, there was fire, followed by water. Now, however, it’s time for air, in the ethereal shape and form of ‘Carrion Movements’, the third studio album of Novarupta!
The Novarupta experiment is essentially the brainchild of the Gothenburg-based musician Alex Stjernfeldt, which for all intents and purposes is a solo project at its core. Alex is otherwise involved with a multitude of other projects, past and present, which includes the old school melodeath revival act Grand Cadaver (fronted by none other than Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity), Sherlock Icarus, Let Them Hang, The Moth Gatherer, Mr. Death and CHILD, to name a few.
Without a doubt, he is and has been a busy guy, and yet he found the time to start the gargantuan behemoth of a project that is Novarupta, the first two records of which, ‘Disillusioned Fire’ (2019) and ‘Marine Snow’ (2020), respectively, featured a veritable plethora of guest artists and vocalists, from bands like This Gift is a Curse (Jonas Holmberg), A Storm of Light (Josh Graham), Breach (Thomas Liljedahl), Dark Tranquillity (Mikael Stanne), Besvärjelsen (Lea Amling) and Inter Arma (Mike Paparo), most of which he also managed to gather up for the two live shows they’ve done thus far, which in itself seems like an impossible feat. I’ve had the fortune of being able to attend both of these and it’s been a truly mind-blowing experience seeing all these pieces fall into place with such perfection.
Musically, the past two records have, for the most part, been taking place somewhere in the realm of post-metal and atmospheric doom metal, with each guest bringing their seasoning to the mix, which is also the case for ‘Carrion Movements’, with one major exception – It’s entirely instrumental, save for some rather ethereal vocal harmonies here and there. Another key difference is that there are only two tracks on it, but even so, it clocks in at 36 minutes, which is shorter than the other albums, but only by 2-3 minutes.
If you’re at all familiar with Greek mythology, chances are that you’re familiar with the titles of these tracks. First, we have ‘Eurus, named after one of the Anemoi, or ‘Winds’, more specifically the God of the East Wind. Again, the theme of this album is the element of air. It clocks in at a little over 17 minutes, most of which is taken up by a long build-up, more akin to the moody and melancholic side of post-rock, thick on atmosphere. Don’t worry though, because a climax is coming and it’s got Novarupta’s signature sound written all over it, save for the vocals.
The second and final track is called ‘Boreas’, which like the previous track is named after one of the four Anemoi, and in this case the God of the North Wind (The remaining two Anemoi are called Notus and Zephyrus – TMYK). A track that is considerably heavier overall, and almost a minute longer, post-metal through and through, carefully lined with violin and deep atmospherics.
Yes, ‘Carrion Movements’ is, without a doubt, very different from the previous works of Novarupta, yet it’s still all very familiar, and the absence of vocals doesn’t impair it in any way, substituting extrospection with introspection, adding depth. Alex and his collaborators have done it again and I can’t wait for the next chapter – Earth.