Artist: Fryktelig Støy
Release Date: January 29th, 2023
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australia never ceases to put out quality underground music worthy of international attention. The latest in this long line of deserving releases is one woman black metal act Fryktelig Støy which has just released its debut album Disappointment.
I say black metal act, but it’s actually much more than that, as sole member Em Støy (Oligarch, formerly Thrall) expertly builds her music’s foundation on doom and post-metal. The result of this unholy union is an album that is equal parts heavy, depressive, and raw. Most importantly though Em manages to allow the best elements of each genre to shine through in her song writing and execution.
For me the most captivating element on the album is Em’s vocal performance. It carries so much emotion to it but also has just enough raw bite and aggression to convey both pain and emotional distress. Her style is biting and venomous but just clear enough to remain understandable, which is important given the complexity and depth of her lyrics. The release is actually a concept album that tells stories of violence and betrayal in the lives of famous female muses. These stories are told from a first-person perspective and each touches on a different theme. For example, the second track on the album Hope examines the dangers of faith:
I thought that hope would save me
I thought hope kept me hanging on
But as the thread starts breaking
We see all of what was wrong
It was hope that had enslaved me
The truth was that hope had gone
The truth was hope is a cage for me
I would have died if I had carried on
Whereas track four, Judith looks at loss, grief and sacrifice:
And I would give it all back
For one more moment in his arms
To feel the warmth of his chest against my cheek
You pathetic little fools
All you think about is money
But you’ll never understand my loss
The burden that no one should bear
Each track has its own theme and to some extent its own sound as Em gives each its own unique feel in order to express the message she is trying to convey. For instance, some are more aggressive in order to convey outrage and anger, while others are more depressive and melancholic. While each track may have its differences, the album has some common overall elements. Most important of these is the incredible bass work on the album. Honestly, this is some of my favourite bass of 2023 so far, it’s just so goddamn thick, heavy and distorted and plays a crucial role in the overall sound and atmosphere of the album. The second is the guitar, which throughout the release remains highly atmosphere focused despite greatly varying in sound. From crisp, clean and stunning spacey elements through to filthy, crushingly heavy, fuzz laden moments it’s all there and it’s all fantastic.
What keeps me coming back to the album time and time again though is the immersive quality of its atmosphere. Between the highly depressive elements and the righteous anger the album really draws you in and keeps you emotionally invested. To make matters more impressive each track has a slight variation of this atmosphere, tweaked to suit its overarching theme/concept and tug on different heart strings. More impressively, she manages to do so without ever straying far enough from the core atmosphere, which would shatter its immersive effect.
Overall, I see this as a solid debut from a project with a lot of potential. Given the unique themes and concepts covered here I would be very interested to see where Em Støy takes thins on her next release and hope that there is in fact a follow up. This is just one more notch in Australia’s already extensive underground scene’s belt.
Listen to and order the album: