CD Review

Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk – “Vitagen”

By Marcus Pan

VitagenHenrik Nordvargr Bjorkk is an ambient creator going under such monikers as MZ.412, Folkstorm, Toroidh and others. His work is considered top shelf in the dark ambient community, and he has a succinct control and mastery over his soundscapes. I number him among such greats as Joe Renzetti(1) and Autocad(2). Henrik's use of almost nothing to create imagery and foreboding that most people would be hard pressed to do with everything is brilliant.

A long period of buzzy nothingness opens Vitagen with Sterile. Washed out ambient vying to remain just slightly in the background with a metallic tinge and taste. The ambient background remains similar as we move through Vitagen, and does provide a very surreal quality to the environment...a spookiness that is hard to find in other minimal artists. Henrik has a good command of soundscaping so that while others achieve minimalism for the sake of it, Henrik achieves a minimalism that is imbued with feeling and, while slow, movement.

Orgasmo Nero adds some slight vocal utterings giving Vitagen a nightmarish feel and moving further into an abyss of loneliness and decay. Oinega slides in a strange beat without damaging the minimalism of the surrounding ambience, a hard feat to accomplish. The grungy rhythm combines nicely with the chorales of Oinega to pick up the pace of the nightmare.

Vitagen is not a fast moving collection of music. It is instead intended for deep and thoughtful musings, background spookiness and uses a very small stable of sounds and effects. Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk does a good job of creating strong feelings out of nearly nothing at all – a talent hard to come by and hard to find in the ambient washes of today. Likewise the pressed fold out that holds the CD is wonderful.

Contact Information:
Essence Music
Post: Caixa Postal 20020, Juiz de Fora, MG, 36016-970, Brazil
(1) Joe’s latest, Aniron, was reviewed in Legend #144.
(2) Their Penultimatum release was reviewed in Legends #110.