Norway - Full Moon 235 - 10/27/15
According to Regn (in English: Rain) themselves - Regn are Magnus Nymo on vocals and bass, plus Hans Uhre on drums - they play 'noisepunk with old-school emo'. Sometimes, the duo are more
than the pair of Nymo and Uhre, meaning some extra friends and helpers stepping in on vocal/instrumental backing. On their debut album, Mareritt, two of the extras are 'Linda from the
forests' (additional vocals on the tracks "Mareritt" and "Bragt til ende") and multi-artist/producer (of Aiming for Enrike, Acres
Wild, Anti Poison Slammer, plus plus) Simen Følstad Nilsen (noise/guitar/effects on the song "Mareritt"). The seven tracks on Mareritt
(English: 'Nightmare') unveil a dark and chaotic world, deep into some mystic forests (dare I say 'rain forests'... no, I don't).
When expecting a hard-core punk or dark metal album, Mareritt unveils a true DIY, minimalist punk record (with some rough metal edges), with songs that dive into a whirlpool of
claustrophobia and some nightmarish landscapes. The sometimes-noisy twosome (vocals, fuzzy bass, and drums) explores some truly dark and scary paths, but they steer away from all possible
clichéd traps. The angst feel is for real. From the opening "Sove" ('To Sleep'), they pinpoint their own, dark shadowland territory of sleeplessness and fear. 'Deep inside the darkness
lies sleep...'. You could imagine stepping inside some Norwegian black metal death zone, but instead you will find/face some experimental, punchy and appealing 'nihilist' rock. The seven long
(most of them 5+ minutes long) tracks glide and blend into each other. "Sove" shifts/switches into "Sorgen Lange" (English: 'Long-Sorrow', but it is in fact a hard to translate Norwegian wordplay...)
and Regn take you deeper into their nightmare woods. They click and clutch their exciting rhythmic and melodic stretches. The cacophony is near, but so are the catchy melodies and the hypnotic
(and repetitive), swirling and swerving rhythms. "Natta" ('The Night') is yet another sleepless nightmare, before "Bragt til ende" ('Brought to an end') starts at a slow and low pace before
spinning and twisting into an explosive, scary ending. The pack of wolves spinning out of the quickstep "Ulvene" ('Wolves'), the second longest track, and one of my favourite songs off the
album. The wolf pack circle you and scare you, leaving you pale and terrified (almost). The run through the dark woods of Regn's jungle continues with "Løpe" ('To Run'), where the full-blown
(near) paranoia clicks in, before the song takes a 'break' midway through, seeing the fuzz-bass and drums takes on an abstract and quiet instrumental part.
The long title track ends and sums up the album: the nightmare rolls on, from start to end. On the other hand, maybe it never ends? The (brown) bear head (in rain) drawing on the album cover
proves the music on the record pitch perfect: magic power, loner shyness, and a beautiful brute force. Darkness, despair and drone noise. Drum and bass dreams rule. The sound of reappearing
nightmares. The dreams never end, and the bear's hunt continues. To quote Wikipedia, 'Bears produce a variety of vocalizations such as:
Moaning, produced mostly as mild warnings to potential threats or in fear.
Barking, produced during times of alarm, excitement or to give away the animal's position.
Huffing, made during courtship or between mother and cubs to warn of danger.
Growling, produced as strong warnings to potential threats or in anger.
Roaring, used much for the same reasons as growls and also to proclaim territory and for intimidation.
Humming, a loud monotonous buzzing sound, primarily employed by cubs.'
Just like Regn - the band. They moan, they bark, they huff, they growl, they roar, they hum. From deep inside the darkest, bleakest and gloomiest woods of the Eastern Norway area. The Ursus
arctos novegicus predator is both slow and fast, and it will soon find its den for the winter, for its hibernation sleep. Until then, you'd better watch your back. And, when spring breaks, it
will awake and reappear. Hungrier than ever!
Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen