1184 is the third – and sadly penultimate – album from black metal outfit Windir, who disbanded in 2004 following the untimely demise of Terje “Valfar” Bakken, who was the mastermind behind the band. Looking back at this 2001 album, it doesn’t seem to have dated and it still sounds just as relevant even today.
The music is a slight departure from the more traditional black metal-feeling albums prior to it, but if anything, it highlights the fact that Valfar wasn’t afraid of experimenting and trying new things, and it really paid off with 1184 because the electronic feel at times gives the tracks that extra sparkle and really helps them to resonate in your head.
One of the strongest tracks of the album is by far the epic closer Journey To The End, which is perhaps the band’s most popular song even today if sites such as YouTube and last.fm are to be trusted – but either way, it’s clear why because it’s an absolutely stunning track. It honestly does feel like you’re on a journey and it’s a gripping piece from start to end, with the heavier and more frenetic sections easing effortlessly into the softer parts and back again. The vocals are something to behold and the ending works well, with a repeating electronic idea that slowly gets stuck into your head and remains there as the song fades away.
This album truly is a stunning piece and is something you’ll keep wanting to revisit – even thirteen years after the original release date.