Northaunt – Barren Land

Northaunt is an atmospheric dark ambient project from Norway. I got to know them through the “Nord Ambient Alliance” split cd, to which Northaunt contributed two tracks. Their debut album came out on Fluttering Dragon in 2001, “Barren Land” is their second album, on the same Polish label, filled with icy atmospheric soundscapes.

In my opinion “Barren Land”, which comes in a nice stylish digipack, is a really beautiful album with a lot of emotion. Full of nature-inspired ambient which is cold and dark at times, but which is also accessible, through its flowing and melodic character. I really like the environmental field recordings which are used and the minimal piano sounds which gave tracks like ‘Dying Day/Dawn and ashes’ a pleasant melancholic moodr. Other pieces have a more mechanical, industrial character, like ‘Whiteout’. One of my favourites is ‘Laid bare beneath the stars’, a mysterious soundscape with hazy voices in a stormy night. Fort an ambient album “barren Land” has quite soem variation, listen for example to the guitar-based ‘Just another cold spring’.

An album with a desolate mood at times, making you feel small amidst an impressive landscape. “Barren Land” is one of the best ambient albums that came out in 2004. Recommended to fans of labels like Cold Meat and Cyclic Law.

artist: Northaunt
label: Fluttering Dragon
details: 10 tracks, 54 min. 2004 [FD 0.28]