Thursday, July 14, 2011
Njiijn - Templii Au Osstryx (2011)
Style: Dark Ambient/Experimental Black Metal
Label: EEE Recordings
Here is yet another release from the ever-prolific duo in Njiqahdda, but this time from the other half of that project. I'll admit, Njiijn is probably my least favorite project of the four that the duo go under, if only because I haven't heard all that much from any of their albums. The single/EP released before this album, "Ruins of Osstryx," intrigued me enough to want to listen more to this project.
Njiijn is perhaps one of the more difficult projects the duo are involved in, or at least that's how it worked for me. From the albums that I've experienced from the project, sounds have ranged from dark ambient and drone to more expansive use of tribal percussion and noise, so expecting any one thing from this project is out of the question. I've also heard that some of their releases have dabbled in post-metal and black metal as well, so it wouldn't surprise me if that were true. As for this album, a three track affair, each of these tracks brings a different soundscape and nature to it's composition. Some call it avant-garde, other's experimental, other's unique, but in reality it's just all of the above, call it what you will, it's a very good album all the way.
The first track, I'm just gonna call it Triangle, sorry I don't have the image, is I guess what I would consider to be a "traditional" song from the project. It's pretty usual noise/ambient stuff that you kind of grow accustomed to listening to these guys. The second track, Tiiyuae, is really where things get going. This track makes use of some great percussion and drumming while mixing a cool sort of black-ish metal riff with what almost sounds like ska. It's a very odd sound, but the way it's used makes it sound almost uplifting and happy, it's weird I know, but beyond that the use of what sounds like chanting on the track's underbelly just brings a darker tone to it. But it's on the title-track, Templii Au Osstryx, where the project sounds not only familiar and in a comfortable skin, remember, I haven't heard everything from this project, with long drones, layers of field recordings, elements of ambient and minimalistic composition on here. Now, it might just be because the other two tracks built up to this thirty-plus minute epic, but I found that listening to this piece was a lot more tolerable than listening to "Fortu Manske Orta" from the project.
Like I said in the beginning, this isn't my favorite project from the duo, but I can't say that there's been a record I haven't liked from them. At it's best, this thing is memorable and unique, at it's worst, it can be yawn inducing, but I found myself liking this more than hating it. Definitely check this out if you're into experimental ambient and drone music.
Overall Score: 7.5
Highlights: Templii Au Osstryx