Striborg - Southwest Passage
15 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.

Those friggin' poseurs pretending to enjoy crap for the sake of being grim fanatically into this genre may find this album worthwhile because, to be perfectly honest, there is a semi-acceptable quantity of fairly satisfying riffs and atmosphere to be found. But as a whole, it's just one big "who can outgrim who" competition. Still, congratulations are in order for making an album that doesn't outright suck after 10 albums doing just that.

Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 8

Band profile: Striborg
Album: Southwest Passage


written by Slayer666 | 31.08.2011

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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BloodFireDeath - 15.09.2011 at 03:08  
The problem with Striborg is that he releases almost everything he does and has no quality filter.
Boxcar Willy - 10.05.2012 at 01:44  
Written by BloodFireDeath on 15.09.2011 at 03:08

The problem with Striborg is that he releases almost everything he does and has no quality filter.

Bingo, he needs to complie, 7 or 8 (dare I say) "good" songs and put them into one album.

That way he might get a 7.

RavenKing - 10.05.2012 at 02:01  
This band (if you allow me to use this word) sucks. One of the most talentless Black Metal band I ever heard.
A bottomless pit of mediocrity.

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