Scandinavian black metal is something that always gets my attention. Flukt is a side project with members of the thrash band Cyanide who wanted to play music that was “darker and more ugly than Cyanide.” When the first four songs were finished so quickly the band decided to record them and release them as a debut ep, Holocaust. For those not fluent in Norwegian, Flukt translates to escape or flee and the band saw it as an escape from reality and normal everyday life. It apparently also helped that this gave them a short Norwegian name. The band recorded and mixed the ep at Hulloen Studio and made this a real DIY project. Looking at the ep cover provides a glimpse as to what the music inside will sound like. Atmosphere is dark and the music is brutal with subject matter involving World War II and the realities of war.
Sounds of gunfire and screams of war punctuate the beginning of “Frontline Brutality” which rather quickly builds into a droning black metal guitar riff and blast beat drumming, but then things slow for the first verse section. Vocals are mostly almost atmospheric black metal in style and somewhat behind the ominous music. When the song speeds up the guitars conjure up a musical equivalent of an alarm with increasing intensity, providing a sense of impending doom or peril. Later, the song adopts an marching- like cadence that is no less brutal.
The first video clip from the ep is for the song “Dødens Rike”, which brings in an opening much like something you might hear in some old school hardcore songs, an interesting touch. Instead of launching quickly into a hyperspeed riff however, the melodic section continues as the vocals come in. I do find the vocals a bit too much in the background for my taste but that’s a relatively minor quibble. The song does pick up and launch into a thrashy, fast black metal section before settling back into a marching like melodic beat that, rather unexpectedly shifts into an atmospheric, quieter section, before getting loud again and eventually accelerating into the blast beats one would expect.
“Tomhet” serves as almost an musical intro or intermission before the last song on the ep, “Holocaust”. Somewhat surprisingly, “Holocaust” was the first song that immediately starts off as identifiable black metal to my ears, but the blast beats and drill-like guitar riffs are short-lived as the song slows for the verses, that feature some ominous guitar reminiscent of the song “Black Sabbath”. The vocals do keep this grounded in black metal, so there is no mistaking this project for anything else and actually musically every song will reinforce that as well, just not all the way through the songs. I will say that I was a bit surprised to find that even within the somewhat narrow realm of Scandinavian black metal, there is a good bit of variety and creativity that can be introduced into the songs to keep things interesting.
Written by John Jackson
1. Frontline Brutality
2. Dødens Rike (listen)
A.Ø – Guitar, bass, vocals) &
F.Hulløen – Drums, vocals
Guest musicians on ‘Tomhet’: Stig Reinhardtsen & Ole Kristian Fagerdal on percussion/drums
Record Label: SkyBurnsBlack Records, Feb. 2015
Interview with Flukt [Feb. 2015]