Review: Novarupta ‘Carrion Movements’

‘The world took me for a freak, so I used that to create a freq.’ – Alex Stjernfeldt

I suppose my unintended New Year’s resolution has been to learn to appreciate instrumental music more. Back in years prior I wouldn’t even give it the time of day. I felt like without the depth of words, music was just lacking something. That thought’s been proven wrong repeatedly. Novarupta is my latest addition into this wordless phenomenon.

Novarupta 'Carrion Movements'

A project created by Alex Stjernfeldt. Having been a member of both The Moth Gatherer and Mr. Death he’s also lent his talents to Terra Tenebrosa on their album The Reverses. Growing disillusioned to where those steps would lead his future to be, he formed Novarupta and has chosen concise sounds that summarize what his music is attempting to say.

Two tracks. Two tracks with considerable length. Okay. Cool. Let’s approach this in typical pretentious fashion.

Eurus / (ˈjʊərəs) / noun. Greek myth the east or southeast wind personified.

Closing my eyes, the rolling water created by these tones beats my face for so long I begin relying on it. The music has filled my ears and brain within seconds. A nautical sound builds a stable foundation that feels both powerful enough to challenge the world, yet fragile enough the bottom could split open at any second. Twanging guitars meander into the mechanism that keeps you afloat as the drums come into position. Strings played in a minimalist style are the final addition and we are now completely underway.

Everything feels so well controlled while deep down in my brain I can see it snapping at any point. Think staring at a part of a ship you know wasn’t repaired properly, even though you were promised it was. You hold your breath thinking that could help reinforce it. But the journey has already begun and anything that could help has expired. Guitar riffs space out further, and the wind is felt on your chest. Peppered in are up-tuned chords adding a sense of closure until the ocean waves break the mind. A crescendo comes in like a violent storm leaving you slack jawed and gasping for air. So much build-up for such a wonderful payoff that lingers around long enough for you to truly appreciate it.

A somber doomed out and gloomy feeling permeates while managing to still be playful…

Boreas |Bo·​re·​as – \ ˈbȯr-ē-əs 1: the Greek god of the north wind. 2: the north wind personified.

A somber doomed out and gloomy feeling permeates while managing to still be playful is noticeable from the first seconds of Boreas. Screeched tones roll into snare drums and bellowing guitars are everywhere. It feels as though an ancient, ominous presence is felt but not seen. Guitars spilling over convoluting everything and bends the mood at will. The drums, at times, pick up everything as its cast it into the sky. Strings are light and menacing. Each part of the instruments transition between feeling independent, in harmony, and actively fighting against each other.

The mechanical theme from Eurus comes in here, making this flow in continuation, but also griping to its independence to sound different to its sibling track. Boreas is more daring and doesn’t shy away from fleeing its power. Rolling drums give it a primal feel. Guitars scattering in an attempt to keep up. Spinning audio tricks force you to feel each change. The final moments completely engulf the mind giving a magnificent feeling until the heart stopping ending leaves you breathless. The snap finally happens, and oblivion sets in. The ship is sinking, and you cannot run to safety.

I may have had too much fun getting lost in this. It’s a jolly time all around!

Label: Suicide Records
Band Links: Facebook | Instagram

Scribed by: Richard Murray