Virus - The Black Flux

Anyone familiar with Norway’s Virus will know the music they produce belongs to that weird and rather unusual movement of Norwegian artists spearheaded by acts like In the Woods, Ulver, Beyond Dawn, Ved Buens Ende, DHG, etc that don’t fit in any particular genre or definition.
Neither should it be a surprise to learn that Virus consists of Carl-Michael Eide and Petter Berntsen from Ved Buens Ende and Einar Sjurs√ł from Beyond Dawn, well seasoned musicians responsible for some of the most compelling and audacious music coming from Norway in the last decade.
Well, past the unavoidable introductions we should now focus on “The Black Flux”, the follow-up to their considerably odd debut “Carheart” released in 2003 by Jester Records, a label founded by Kristoffer Rygg also known as Garm from Ulver. It’s curious to find out that Virus had compared their new work to a David Lynch movie whereas “Carheart” was seen as a Monty Python-type release. Mostly because there are several moments throughout the album where the overall effect is like stepping in the weird and noir Club Silencio from “Mulholland Drive” and watching some weird group dressed in black suits performing some of the most dissonant and hypnotic harmonies as the background music for a bizarre show with dwarfs and other surreal characters. Virus have somehow reshaped their sonic endeavours and their sound is now darker and more disturbing recalling the musical soundscapes Ved Buens Ende used to delve through before their swansong. The songs have overall a slower pace and the rhythms are hypnotic and repetitive with the guitar of Eide constantly churning out dissonant and labyrinthine chords and his haunting vocals echoing the wails of grieving souls. Sometimes it reminds me of Madrugada inebriated with absinth twisting some Voivod riffs along with members of Arcturus.
It’s weird and of difficult digestion, yet it reveals an elegance that is genuinely addictive just like a David Lynch movie. No hay banda.
(7.5/10)

Band info: www.myspace.com/czral
Label info: www.season-of-mist.com

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