Chill pill for Norwegian metaller

Photo: Christian Misje

Who They?

BardSpec is the ambient project from Ivar Bjørnson, guitarist from extreme metal band Enslaved. Originally just a solo outfit, BardSpec has morphed into a band, with guitars and effects no less. That said, their debut album ‘Hydrogen’ is quite a leap from the sound of the Enslaved mothership.

Why Bardspec?

BardSpec are all hallucinatory synths, fuzzy electronics and echoing guitars, with some field recordings and other found-sounds thrown in for good measure. They’re all about “minimising, subtracting and meditating upon the simplest essence of ‘things’”, symbolised with song titles like ‘Bone’ and ‘Salt’; these “single points” and “basic elements” that make up “the whole”. Well, you did ask.

Tell Us More

They’re influenced by such electronic masters as Tangerine Dream, Conrad Schnitzler and Klaus Schulze, as well as their own native Norwegian ambient ambassador Biosphere and the more industrial likes of metal outfits such as Godflesh. A heady brew, Bjørnson says it’s the “trance-inducing” aspect of such music that appeals to him; the idea of listening to music in a semi-lucid state and not being wholly aware of any deviations of patterns and frequencies that occur within the music. Trance-inducing or not, we like what we’re hearing from BardSpec. More of this, please.

‘Hydrogen’ is out on By Norse

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