Fact #1: Euronymous was one of the founding members of black metal legends Mayhem.
Fact #2: He also dug electronica.
I bring this up on the midst of listening to Wardruna’s Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga. The album isn’t old school black metal, it’s ancestral. But rather than get into discussing the cast of characters, or describing how awesome a goat horn sounds bellowing through a rainstorm; I want to talk about the survival, and future direction of black metal.
In the early nineties electronica had just started making a mainstream presence in America, a full decade after most European countries. This is the very time that black metal, a genre that once prided itself on barren distorition, is spreading over the Scandanavian countryside, while countries like France, Brazil, and America are getting into the act. Today it seems that electronica is the dominant counterpoint for all genres to experiment in, which is what I love about the offering by Wardruna. Runaljod is pure and simple, but carved out of acoustic wood work.
Black metal has been engrossed in the electronic possibilities for some time. From Dimmu Borgir, Blut Aus Nord, and Prurient, what is there really left to cover? I think that this album deserves notice on a micro-scale, a reminder that division is never dead, but born anew.