Idis Örlög appears to be a rather shadowy project from Northern Europe, of whose precise location is somewhere around Nuremberg, Germany. Initially it seemed that the projects members had been lost to obscurity, but after a little research it would seem that the lady behind the music is one Megan Löwe, previously of Boston, Massachusetts. Some may know her otherwise as “Iron Meggido” of the black metal duo Witchblood whom have only released one demo to this point, while others may know her for the black thrash project Hekseri whom just in 2010 finally got their first chance at a full-length after 6 years of existence with a self-titled effort on Time Before Time Records. Thus it would seem that Idis Örlög is Löwe’s first attempt at invoking her ancestral spirits and personal spirituality and culture through the means of Pagan Folk music as her world up until this point has seemingly been placed almost entirely in the extreme metal realm.
Despite coming from and being financed by the label Wolftyr Productions, this is a demo and should be taken as such when listening as the quality of the recordings are demo quality. There isn’t a great deal of effort put into production seemingly, with volume levels varying — sometimes greatly — between tracks, performance slip-ups being left intact, and microphone noise and movement being left in the mix. As such though, it should be noted that most of these tracks, especially towards the end of the demo, appear to have been performed live into a microphone, so guitar and vocals are being performed simultaneously rather than separately for recording purposes, so performance miscues can be attributed to that. That said, for what it is, this demo is nicely composed. For the first part of the release before the live recordings take place, multiple vocal layers are melodically performed and are the primary point of the music over top of the sweeping guitar lines and minimal hand percussion.
Thematically, as mentioned, most of Löwe’s work is a dedication to her ancestral lineage, spirituality, and the nature in which she is surrounded by. Lyrics seem to mostly contain writings on Nordic and Germanic mythology as can be seen especially in later tracks like “Huginn and Muninn” — the familiar pair of ravens that fly through Midgard to bring Odin information — and Nanna and Balder — the latter of whose death eventually led to Ragnarok and the destruction of the gods. The name of the project itself is a testament to Löwe’s intentions with “Idis” being described as guardian spirits who defend their bloodlines and “Örlög” simply meaning destiny — a phrase which spells out how she feels about her place in this world and the next. Needless to say, her intentions are honorable and I feel that many women that find themselves in the Pagan realm will especially find something beautiful in this release — the performance of the music, however, could use some work in the end.
For curiosity’s sake, the runic text that arches over the art on the album cover simply says “Idis Orlog”.