Stillborn Fawn- “Norn”

Stillborn Fawn- "Norn"

Stillborn Fawn has long been a favorite here at Black Metal & Brews. With many small-run releases in their roster of all equally high quality, the band has readied a monstrous new release in Norn. Bleak Environment, home of acts like Tollund Men and Xothist, will be releasing this album on April 4th. In addition to sharing a brief review, it is an honor to allow you access to a full stream of this exciting new album while you prepare for the imminent cassette release.

Those expecting some of the majesty displayed on Heathen will certainly find it, but it’s not in the grand and lumbering forms one might expect. Instead, moments of peculiar glory show in the unsettling drums and eerie melodies near the end of “Drouth” or in the caveman stomp of “Infant Grave,” songs that are equally at home and out of place at once. In many ways, Norn feels like a conventional black metal album while throwing convention aside entirely, with little bits of everything on the extreme side of the “rock’n’roll” spectrum thrown in tastefully amid the clamor and the chaos. The vocals sit in a familiarly phlegmatic rasp while the guitars buzz along with equal parts riff and droning pulse. Bass is surprisingly discernible in the mix for an album of such raw structure. The composition of Norn as a whole is a bit hard to imagine as something cohesive, yet it is held together surprisingly well in its oddness. If you’re looking for pure unrestrained aggression here, you may well find it, but there’s so much going on beneath the apparent nature of things that it’s worth taking the time to discover a bit more.

Norn is being released with 100 copies on cassette tape. When it goes, it’ll go quickly, so don’t sleep on it.