For What Once Was...

For What Once Was… is the premier release for the one man band called Bothildir, formed in 2004. Ardroth is sole creator. Bothildir is based in my home state of Maine. Though Ardroth has only lived here a few years, I’ll still give him home ice advantage even though he is not a true Maineiac. Pronounced Baath-uhl-dear, it is no coincidence that a Norse word was chosen as a name, an obvious homage to the Scandinavian origins of black metal.

Accomplished drumming, synth atmospherics, interesting guitar leads, true metal riffing, and harsh shrieks with some occasional clean vocals, what else need there be? The vocals are just over the edge from understandable, but appropriate to the music. The orchestral elements fit well into the songs, definitely well thought out and not just inserted as embellishments. All components of each song are carefully crafted and demonstrate a fine understanding of the darker side of music. The old adage if it sounds good it is good applies here, but fear not, most of the human race would not think it sounds good. This is raw black metal at its core. Keys are used sparingly and to great effect but it is the genuineness of the metal core that stands out. The pace wavers from fast to slow to normal, sometimes abruptly, more commonly with beautiful transitions. Nature based reverence comes through clearly, as does the more standard theme of anger and frustration.

Five songs with a prelude, interlude and an outro are presented, with the top three songs being “With Luciferian Pride,” “Entities of Putrid Cognizance,” and “ For What Once Was…” Slow acoustic parts, somber interludes, and crushing rhythm guitar sound join with blastbeats and screams to produce truly memorable compositions. I particularly like the Vivaldian melody running through “Entities of Putrid Cognizance.” I also need to mention “Atrocities of Mankind” for its excellent symphonic elements.
Do old Emperor, Windir, Summoning, Immortal, Hellveto, Enslaved take up a sizable portion of your listening time? Add Bothildir to the rotation; this is a band with staying power.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
August 30th, 2006


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