By on 2 March 2011


1995 was the year things started going weird in Norway. Having put the country on the map and defined the rules of black metal, which many others were quick to copy, bands started to break things down and transgress into new avant-garde sensibilities. Debut albums appeared by In The Woods who delivered ‘Heart Of The Ages’ and Arcturus with ‘Aspera Hiems Symfonia.’ Perhaps acid had been put in the water and as far as the illogical caress of Ved Buens Ende was concerned something was defiantly written in it their debut also becoming another timeless and much loved and copied album. Dipping toes into these murky depths was one Svein Egil Hatlevik who along with constant collaborator / guitarist Alexander Nordgaren were working under the strange and flowery name Fleurety and releasing their first album ‘Min Tid Skal Komme’ on Misanthropy records Norway and Aesthetic Death UK. The album contained long structured songs that never stood still for a second, unravelling their way from standard blackened ideologies into errant progressive and psychedelic textures. Listening to this and the likes of Ved Buens Ende at the time was akin to discovering Krautrock and 70’s psychedelic rock and it is no surprise that it was something that was either loved or hated, baffling many within the scene as well as listeners of Norske Svart Metal.

Probably the defining moment for the band was their second and to date last album ‘The Department Of Apocalyptic Lies’ which surfaced in 2000. Svein had by now also delivered ‘Nonsense Chamber’ as Aphrodisiac, which was a strange ambient and surreal journey into the psyche of homicidal serial killers, as well as contributing keyboards to Dodheimsgard. ‘Department’ is a complete head trip of an album twisting, turning and throwing out crazed passages of contorted jazz and carnival etched circus lunacy. Female vocals really added to the bewildering musical head-stew (Nordgarden had to retire from singing having damaged his voice in the bands early years). With input from a huge array of guests from bands such as Ulver, Mayhem, Aura Noir and Beyond Dawn the pair had really gone out their way to formulate an obtuse and creatively bizarre piece of music. Listening at the time it was difficult to place anywhere in the metal void as it flowed from parts that were like Zappa and Beefheart into music sounding as though it was spawned from the UK free festival circuit and bands like Webcore and Ring who themselves morphed into the equally crazed group The Cardiacs. This was circus music for the demented.

Disappearing back into obscurity the project was pretty much on hold, now is perhaps the time for a resurgence though. Ulver are bringing Zweizz another of Svein’s odd musical entities on tour with them and Virus featuring principle members of Ved Buenes Ende have a new album out and are also along for what is sure to be one hell of a live trip.

Fleurety fans of whom there must be a few (out there) can also rejoice in the first new material from the project in years. Although Aesthetic Death released a single in 2009 these were re-recorded old tracks. ‘Evoco Bestias’ is however a different beast. Presented on limited edition of 666 copies on thick luscious grey vinyl this is a highly collectable prize. The two tracks featured ‘Summon The Beasts’ and ‘Animal Of The City’ flirt with skewed melodies and fuzz laden guitar over singer Ayna Beate Johansen’s vocals which go from sultry to strident in one rapid movement. Encompassing these are the beastly growls of Svein and blackened swaggers courtesy of Andreas Barsleth’s meaty percussive sweeps. Underlying everything there is still a visibly palpable feeling of unhinged feral dementia and this strikes as a progression that although perhaps more linear than the work on ‘Department’ could go, who knows where, if it is expanded upon.

The question now is obviously what next? Will Fleurety like the demon the band are named after suddenly be exorcised out of existence or will the strange beast having been stabbed with a sharp pointed stick get back into the studio and work on their 3rd album? Taking things slowly it appears they are first working on a new 7” and whilst you wait for that their previous legacy is well worth exploring if you can get your head round it.

Pete Woods


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