They may come from Nor­way, but this quin­tet’s brand of black­ened noise is a whole new mon­ster

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise - WORDS: HY­WEL DAVIES

SOUNDS LIKE: The angst of black metal in its ugli­est form

FOR FANS OF: Con­verge, Con­jurer, Em­ployed To Serve

LIS­TEN TO: Black Liq­uid Mar­row

“We have this phrase we like to say: ‘We’re the sound of peo­ple suck­ing the mar­row out of their own bones,’” laughs Attan bassist Fritz Pet­tersen as he ca­su­ally sips on his green tea. As he sits com­pletely un­fazed af­ter ut­ter­ing the most metal thing any­one has ever said, we’re pretty sure we’ll never sleep again af­ter hear­ing it.

Moulded by the bleak win­tery dark­ness of the Nor­we­gian Arc­tic Cir­cle, Attan aren’t so much a band that you can eas­ily whack on while hoover­ing the flat but will more likely have you quiv­er­ing naked in the foetal po­si­tion in the cor­ner. Their 2015 EP, From Noth­ing, was a raw help­ing of de­spair­ing black­ened hard­core that is yet to be truly recog­nised out­side of the un­der­ground. This vile sound is steadily crawl­ing from the depths into the metal con­scious­ness, stem­ming from the blue­print the likes of Con­verge and Neu­ro­sis have pre­vi­ously laid down.

While the thought of what sort of dam­age a full-length al­bum would have on your cra­nium and fur­ni­ture is sure to ter­rify in­sur­ance com­pa­nies ev­ery­where, Fritz seems to see Attan’s ob­jec­tive dif­fer­ently to what we ex­pected while dis­cussing the forth­com­ing de­but.

“Play­ing re­ally heavy and fast isn’t the is­sue. It’s not re­ally that hard ei­ther – this is not a sport, so that’s not the chal­lenge. For us, it’s mak­ing some­thing that has im­pact. Mak­ing it in­ter­est­ing is as much a part of the mu­sic as the ag­gres­sion,” he says, ex­plain­ing how the band ap­proached this record. “That said, ag­gres­sion is im­por­tant to us. I’m a firm be­liever in chan­nelling ag­gres­sion from the neg­a­tive to the pos­i­tive and that’s a re­ally big part of this band.”

From what he tells Ham­mer, Nor­way has once again be­come a melt­ing pot of cre­ativ­ity, as its hard­core, black metal, even jazz scenes fre­quently fuse, and be­ing heavy for the sake of it is seen as con­strict­ing that cre­ativ­ity. Given the dev­as­tat­ing blow From Noth­ing deals out, the les­son here is this: take care of the art and the heav­i­ness will fol­low.

“It’s re­ally in­tense,” he says, af­firm­ing the yet-to-be named al­bum will un­doubt­edly shat­ter a few spines. “That’s the key word there: in­tense. That’s when we know we’re on the right path, when it’s hard to breathe.”


Though work­ing with pro­ducer and film com­poser Chris­tian Wibe, who scored the cult zom­bie clas­sic Dead Snow (a film that gui­tarist Mathis Mathisen also worked on as a cin­e­matog­ra­pher), there have ob­vi­ously been a few chal­lenges along the way. Fe­ro­cious filth such as this thrives in a tight, con­densed spa­ces and could po­ten­tially lose that im­pact if stretched too far. As proven with their seven-and-a-half-minute metal­lic doom march Ed­ward, they’re more than ca­pa­ble of deal­ing out the pain over fair dis­tances.

“When you have that fast, in­tense hard­core stuff, try­ing to make that work within the lim­its of say 40 min­utes or so, there are some chal­lenges. We know that this is in­tense mu­sic and we know that no one likes to be beaten for hours. But we had a re­ally clear vi­sion of where we wanted to go and it’s even beau­ti­ful and mel­low at times. We ended up sur­pris­ing our­selves. I’m not go­ing to use the word in­tel­li­gent, but we’ve put some thought into what we’re try­ing to say. So, you could say it’s a beau­ti­ful, in­tense beat­ing.” ATTAN WILL RE­LEASE THEIR NEW AL­BUM LATER THIS YEAR

looks like one mem­ber of Attan has had a “beau­ti­ful, in­tense beat­ing” al­ready

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