Omrade Edari 01There’s just something about Seldon Hunt’s artwork that draws me deep into the full concept and mood of an album. Be it the quiet simplicity of Pelican’s What We All Come To Need, the ever-consuming vastness of The Ocean’s Pelagial, or the eerie lonesomeness of Jesu’s Sun Down/Sun Rise (my personal favorite), Hunt is somehow able to match auditory art with an observable one. And Område’s Edari is no different. Hunt’s work conveys a sense of beauty, confusion, and uneasiness that perfectly encapsulates a band that compares themselves to influential acts such as Manes, Ulver, Dødheimsgard, and God Is an Astronaut. Område’s schizophrenic layering of black metal, post-rock/metal, ambient electronica, industrial, and trip-hop styles is just as fitting to Hunt’s work as his work is to the band. One would assume Område’s sound is as kaleidoscopic as Hunt’s cover art but, thankfully, all of these flavors don’t bombard simultaneously or result in overwhelming song structures. Område focuses this eight-track debut on simple riffs and atmospheres that deliver songs rather than creating trippy soundscapes for the hell of it. So, let go and let Edari leave you numb, depressed, and without a care in the world.

Shrouded in “mystery,” this not-so-mysterious French band consists of little-known artists Bargnatt and Arsenic, while also employing guest musicians such as Guillaume Bideau (Mnemic) and Asphodel (öOoOoOoOoOo) for added texture and variety. With these weapons in place, Område rounds out their arsenal with some trip-hoppy sax and trumpet players to give tracks like “Mótsögn” and “Satellite and Narrow” that mind-altering Ulver sound. Opener “Mótsögn” starts with a soothing yet unsettling atmosphere that blends the trumpet, sax, and heavy guitar distortion necessary to cornerstone the Pain-like Peter Tägtgren vox of Bargnatt. However, don’t judge the album solely off the trip-hop melodies of “Mótsögn.” The opener is the extreme when it comes to this style, and the majority of the release finds the band concentrating on slow and deliberate moods.

Examples of their simplistic (and somewhat post-metal) side include the Bideau-led “Luxurious Agony” and “Skam Parfyme.” Both tracks are basic in structure and memorable in approach. The former feels like a Raunchy/Mnemic ballad with Bideau’s emotional vocal style entwining with the cold spoken-word passages of the song, and the latter is an evocative mix of electronica-meets-The Ocean. Asphodel’s contribution to “Satellite and Narrow” borrows from the morose leads of Ava Inferi’s Carmen Susana Simões and the Mikkel Sandager-ish backing vox round it out perfectly to convey another aspect of Edari’s sound.

Omrade Edari 02

When it comes to most memorable/bizarre, “Åben Dør” stands out for its eerie Defending the Throne of Evil-era Carpathian Forest intro, the almost rap-like verses on its back-half, and the Arcturus-esque industrial outro. Odd for sure but this is one of my favorites. The creepy and angry “rapping” is just badass enough that even Mr. Fisting should crack a smile. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the moody and atmospheric chill of “Friendly Herpes” keeps me coming back to its hypnotic builds and desperate Pain-like vocals. This track transitions perfectly into the aforementioned “Skam Parfyme” and the result is the perfect avante-gardeian one-two punch. “Skam Parfyme” opens with some John Carpenter vibes and angelic female backing vox before it (and Bargnatt) up the hostility and the pace.

Not overly experimental, Område focuses on songs and keeps it fresh throughout its more than 45-minute length. Their simple take on the avant-garde results in greater accessibility compared to predecessors like Ulver and Manes, with an approachability that has the potential for accessing a fanbase that only mildly dabbles in the genre. Good music, good artwork, and good production to boot gives Edari the trifecta and makes this a winner in my book. Being a lover of Ulver and Manes (even though the latter keeps putting out fucking compilations), it’s difficult for me to admit that anyone else can do this (almost) as well. However, there is much to love here and I will continue to come back to Område’s debut for its straightforwardness, variety, and easy digestibility. So, if you’re ready to submit to the dark and moody, and love bands (and reviewers) that flaunt shameless name-dropping, check this out.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: My Kingdom Music
Websites: OmrådeOfficial |åde
Release Dates: Out worldwide: 04.21.2015

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  • Kralle

    Sounds cool, although that’s a pretty weird band name(område = area). Hey AMG, i was wondering if you were sent Sigh’s new album?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Weird is the theme here… I believe Sigh is on the way.

  • Celaeno

    Mótsögn somehow fits sounds and tones that don’t go together, together. Almost like an auditory illusion or a trick. It’s a (pleasant?) battle between the resolution that my brain wants to or expects to hear and sound that it actually gets. I like that it keeps me from being able to predict what is going to happen without being too grating. The dissonances definitely add to the atmosphere. And I am so digging the winds. I’m interested to hear the rest. Thanks Doc!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      No problem. Enjoy! I like this album mainly for what you described. It keeps it fresh so you can’t predict what will happen next.

  • Kronos

    Great review. I’ll have to snag this at some point.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks dude. I think you’ll enjoy most of it.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    yeah I like this embedded track and the review ticks boxes for me will probably pick this one up!

  • OzanCan

    Man, the embeded song is pretty interesting, I cannot even say this is metal but it is eerie yet soothing. I enjoyed it very much. Thanx doc!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      No problem. Enjoy!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    BTW shouldn’t there have been a unicorn shaming here? Or do they just get by.

  • Wayward Son

    This weakness ain’t metal It’s angryMETALguy not angrySENSITIVEguy

    • basenjibrian

      Is KANSAS metal enough to be making this comment?
      I don’t think so, Dust in the Wind! (LOL. J/K. Sorta)

      • Óðhinn

        Gwar made it metal in 2012. But yeah, Kansas, not metal.

      • Rob

        Maybe not the band, but Kansas the state gave us ORIGIN so I think they get a pass.

    • Óðhinn

      Respectfully disagree. It’s very good in my opinion. Plus, why try to interfere with what Angry Metal Guy deems appropriate to review on his website? Why subject Angry Metal Guy to one man’s strict regulations and definitions of music?

      • Wayward Son

        You guys can snuggle together and share your blanket next to the fire, maybe have a tea party in the morning if mommy says it’s ok. I’ll be in the gym, at the gun range, drinking craft beer and listening to all sorts of metal but not this weak sauce

        • Óðhinn

          As is your right to enjoy the music that you like. And I’ve seen your social media profile, so I’m well aware of your other interests. As for insulting others, Angry Metal Guy likes to keep his website civil. Please try to respect that. Thanks in advance.

          • Wayward Son

            it was sarcasm.

        • Aguy

          cool story bro.

    • sir_c

      Just like I don’t feel like eating egg sandwich all the time, I like some variation in my music selection too. Maybe it’s time to widen you horizon, there’s so much to explore.

      Frankly, I quite like this shizzle and it’s atmosphere & stuff justify its review on a metal-oriented blog.

  • Óðhinn

    I like this.

  • Eva Drewsen

    What’s up with the different languages? Område = Area in Danish/Norwegian/Swedish, Mótsøgn = Contradiction in Faroese/Icelandic, and Edari? Google translate says it means drink in Basque.

  • El_Cuervo

    Just been sifting through some of the stuff I’ve missed from the past couple of weeks, this is really cool!

  • Feeblejocks

    Wow, Mnemic. There’s a name I haven’t seen since my first dabblings in metal back in the day from Spotify artist hopping … semi-prog metalcore, if I remember correctly, that I would probably never pick up intentionally now, but I do remember enjoying The Audio Injected Soul quite a bit.