Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sorgeldom - Innerlig Förmörkelse (2009)

Though Sweden has always had the benefit of a strong metal scene in most genres, its black metal is 2nd only to death in terms of overall quality. Veterans like Dark Funeral and Marduk soldier on, but it's rare that promising new blood is injected into the wound, and with a devilsend like Mörk Gryning breaking up, there is plenty of void to fill.

Enter Sorgeldom, a young three piece who have crafted a debut of raw but thoughtful black metal. Innerlig Förmörkelse thrives on its sharp edged riffing, brutal blunt vocals and the airy atmosphere of its crisp mix. "Insikter" anoints the album with a selection of repetitious notes that induce a wintry hypnosis. "Oroväckande Förlust Av Ett Förlorat Förstånd" offers the full experience: drums, vocals and nearly 12 minutes of cold black metal to herald the oncoming seasons. There are plenty of riffs in the track to break it up, and the band does revisit their mellow acoustic side. "Då Drömmen Dog, Dödade Dagen Dig" offers another crisp acoustic intro, this one quite good, with a shine to it like the watching your blood steam from an open wound under a February full moon. Glorious and hostile riffing ensues to secure this track's place as one of the best on the album. "Livslusten For Med Vinden" is another acoustic piece with some bass picking, and "Geväret Lades Fram, Processen Blev Kort" is a 13-minute plus epic which is another of the best written songs here. The title track seals the album, at time driving and fierce, at times breaking for more of the band's trebly acoustic riffs.

Innerlig Förmörkelse is suitably raw, enough that fans of the Swedish Orthodox black metal might enjoy it, though thematically it is somewhat more nature inclined. All the instruments are present in the mix, but the album isn't bass heavy tone-wise. The result is a sharp stream of natural pagan imagery snorted right into your mind like a line of cocaine snow, or watching your blood ripple through a cold river. Though I enjoyed it, I do feel there is much potential for the band to surpass this. Half the album was superb but there were a few tracks which felt dull in places. Well worth the listen if you favor black metal that is melodic, graceful, sad, and atmospheric but still raging and fast.

Verdict: Win [7.5/10]

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