Norns brought with In Fog They Appear a very simple kind of black metal that should not be dismissed simply as the kind of flowing black metal that overtook the Eastern European regions, but rather an interpretation of black metal that emphasizes a kind of cold romanticism, solitude in inhospitable surroundings, and within that, a treading on under the burden of sorrow and melancholy.
This might seem like the description of your average Burzum-esque clone with Darkthrone-ish inclinations, however, it is not, despite the clear influence. Said influence never takes over the core personality of the sound, which remains, even if not particularly standing out or unique, at least a work built on original ideas. Not original in the musical style sense of the expression, but in that the expression results in something of a clear and precise elaboration, instead of the all-too-common genre or style emulation which most would fall into.
The composition is a duo of distorted guitars playing melodies in tremolo-picking mode, most often in homophonic textures with occasional decorations, percussion duties mostly handled in a middle-speed pacing, and a functionally appropriate bass distinguishable behind them. Harmony remains light, moving between clear consonancy and the edge of dissonance, with which it only briefly and strategically flirts for effect and necessary content stress. Fluency and smoothness is perfected and improved as we progress through this release, and what is at first promised is promptly delivered in plenty.
In Fog They Appear is comprised of three tracks, with the last, the title track, being the main attraction and holding the most weight in terms of content. While the first two seem like experiments in the budding Nornian style, the more than eighteen minutes of the last track extend long melodies that never lose strength, interlacing sections which moderate and compensate each other, preserving the natural energy inherent in each of them. In this way, Norns stretches out one of the best ultra-long running black metal songs this author has had the pleasure of listening: by beautifully and artfully maintaining the delicate, pristine tension of their almost ephemeral black metal.