Here’s a traditional raw black metal album from a one-man band that was released in 2009.
Admit it. You’ve already passed your judgement about this one. You’re telling yourself that it’s just like the thousands of other endless legions of one-man-in-a-bedroom black metal bands. You’re telling yourself it’s the same old riffs, tremolo-picked and cold, layered below croaky, hissing, nearly indecipherable black-metal-ish vocals. You’re telling yourself the production sounds like an intercom horn underwater. You’re telling yourself that this album would be far more annoying than enjoyable. You are wrong.
Svart is of course a one-man project with all instruments, vocals, etc. performed quite impressively by Christian Larsson, also known as Draug, who is the current bassist for Shining and a very familiar presence around these parts in the GD forums. The truth is Draug is an incredibly talented individual when it comes to creating truly dark, groovy, memorable, and ultimately inspiring black metal.
There is truly no real weakness in this album. The drumming is not overly flashy, but it does remain tasteful and extremely groovy for the entire duration of the record. The bass, as you might expect, is synced to perfection with the pounding of the bass drum, solidifying an excellent bottom-end foundation for the rest of the music. The guitar work is just cold and muddy enough to stay tr00 to the laws of black metal but also boasts enough clarity to allow you to hear all those special nuances of the riffing and chord structures that can make a good riff transcend the music and become a truly great moment of black metal.
Draug’s vocals sound evil and torturous like many other black metal vocalists out there, but there is a certain quality that gives him a bit of originality. The fact that most of the lyrics are not in English (as it should be) also adds even more exquisitely delicious Scandinavian flavor to Svart’s brand of black assault. In addition, the vocals enhance an already perfect atmosphere that “Vanära, vanmakt och avsmak” builds from the very first moments of the album (and which probably peaks during the opening haunting minutes of the excellent “Fordärvets mästerverk”. Or maybe the stellar instrumental “Då glädjen seglar iväg”. Who knows?).
Make no mistake. This has quickly become one of my absolute favorite black metal albums of not only the last few years, but indeed ever. That’s not an exaggeration. This album is truly stunning. It’s a masterpiece, plain and simple. It’s even motivated me to record a few old ideas of my own that I just haven’t had the energy to record. That’s true inspiration. “Vanära, vanmakt och avsmak” is a fantastic 42-minute journey into the depths of black darkness that I’ll always find beautifully inspiring.
Tracklist 1. Genom Förgängelsens Dimmor (Through The Mists Of Corruption) 2. De Ogudaktigas Abyss (The Abyss Of The Ungodly) 3. Hädanfärd (Departure From This Life) 4. I Bulimia Nervosas Välde (In The Kingdom Of Bulimia Nervosa) 5. Suicidiums Evinnerliga Bävan (The Everlasting Awe Of Suicidium) 6. Moder Jords Svärtade Sköte (The Blackened Womb Of Mother Earth) 7. Agnosis