Trinacria is a collaboration between 3/5 of Enslaved – everyone but the rhythm section – and Fe-Mail, a noise duo comprised of Maja Ratkje and Hild Sofie Tafjord. (The former is a prolific composer and performer whose 2002 album Voice was co-produced by noise terrorists Jazzkammer.) The project began as a concert commissioned by a Norwegian cultural organization, then grew into a full-fledged band. It’s an uneasy marriage. The six tracks of Travel Now Journey Infinitely (Season of Mist/Indie, 2008) are too long, yet they contain kernels of great inspiration (except for the 10-minute “Endless Roads,” which indeed feels interminable). Enslaved explores avenues beyond its recent ’70s prog leanings: Neurosis slow burn, industrial thrash, straight-ahead black metal.
Given its seed and the length of its tracks, the record feels like it’s missing a visual component. Concert photos, as well as the gorgeous packaging (the fiery reds recall Nile’s Annihilation of the Wicked), bear this out. Still, it’s interesting to hear Fe-Mail push Enslaved to a place it abandoned long ago: abrasion. Fe-Mail’s noise whips up thrillingly harsh climaxes, and for once metal is the gentler part of the equation. The last track has haunting female singing that mushrooms into Runhild Gammelsaeter-esque mania that, like much of this record, is both fascinating and unlistenable.