Striborg - Southwest Passage review
|Release date:||October 2009|
01. Southwest Passage
02. All Contempt Reciprocated
03. Human Extinction
04. Dwelling In The Fullmoon Forests
05. Obscure And Darkened Contemplation
06. Requiem For A Lonely Ghost
Ever since I first heard Striborg's Ghoostwoodlands, this one-man project has been a great mystery to me. Oh, no, not the kind of sweet mystery that you enjoy thinking about, fantasizing about what it could mean, secretly wishing you never discover, just so the magical veil of obscurity will stick. The question that I can't seem to shake off about Striborg is: "Is this guy for fucking real?" Is Striborg a parody/joke band? Apparently, no. Then, by all that is unholy, how can someone take him seriously as a depressive black metal project, and how can this Sin Nanna keep making this kind of crud, deceiving himself and his... uh, fans. Oh, yes, he has them.
Striborg's debut was actually a decent ambient/black metal album, but after that, mostly every release ranged from either amateurishly bad and boring to outright ridiculous and pathetic. Fortunately, or unfortunately for those of you expecting even more lulz from Striborg, Southwest Passage is Sin Nanna's best since Spiritual Catharsis and manages to push itself to almost being decent. Almost.
Well, if you've heard any Striborg's, or any other depressive, extremely low-fi black metal, you know what to expect. Thin, hissing guitars, like razors against your ear drums, occasional synth section to put the "ee" in eerie, and extremely sloppy drum work and production. Intended for all misanthropes who hate anything that doesn't have a tail or branches, Southwest Passage is entirely run-of-the-mill, color-by-number, build-by-pattern stuff. What Sin Nanna probably tried to do was to play Hansel and Gretel with the listeners. He wanted to take you by the hand, and dump you in the deepest, darkest godforsaken forest he could find, so that you can spend an eternity in solitude.
Did he succeed? After the first track, I let go of my forever pessimistic view and said: "Yes!" For the first time, Striborg did not sound like shit. The opening track has everything one could ask from a song representative of this genre: ominous tone, a melancholic mood bordering on pure depression and, of course, the obligatory "frog taking a gigantic dump" vocals. Unfortunately, if there is anything metal and most other music teaches you, it's that you should never trust the first track. After the opener, mostly everything other than the charmingly bad vocals was gone. Run-o-the-mill riffs ensued, and boredom followed. Not that there weren't any interesting moments at all, but all completely pale in comparison to the opener and almost none manage to completely fulfill their mission. You know, the Hansel and Gretel one.
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