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Skitliv, the “supergroup” union between Maniac (Mayhem) and Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), has been the center of some rather critical reviews in past. Most people cite the painfully slow music, raspy vocals and generally uncomfortable feeling of the music as both the source for hating their music and loving their music. Having listened to Skitliv's discography, “Kristiansen and Kvarforth Swim in the Sea of Equilibrium While Waiting” sits alongside the rest of the releases perfectly. What you get is two tracks of exceptionally slow, plodding, dirty doom metal with Maniac's raspy, snarled vocals over top and one exceptionally strange introduction to the album.
“Kristiansen and Kvarforth Swim in the Sea of Equilibrium While Waiting” starts with one of the most maniacal and freaky tracks I have ever heard, entitled “Who Will Deliver Us From Gold & Planets?” The track was actually written and performed by Current 93 for Skitliv to use in the live setting. Anyone who has listened to the band's “Amfetamin” has heard the live version of this track, but if you haven't then imagine slowed down and strange hurdy-gurdy music with a ritualistic drum beat. The music itself is not terrible, but when the strange incantations begin it gets a little too weird. The line, “Who will deliver me from myself?” (which you may or may not know is tattooed on Maniac's collarbone) is repeated over and over and over again by Current 93's David Tibet in his typical maniacal, squelched delivery. It's repeated to the point of incessant annoyance.
The following two tracks, “Slow Pain Coming” and “A Valley Below” are pretty much interchangeable with the rest of Skitliv's discography. Well, wait a second, both of these tracks, as well as “Who Will Deliver Us..” have been released on other Skitliv albums: “Amfetamin”, “Skandinavisk Misantropi”, and “Bloodletting”each have at least one or two of the tracks on there. So without even describing any music I've already pointed out the uselessness of this release.
“Slow Pain Coming” sounds exactly how you would expect it to: slow and painful. The music is plodding doom metal with very minimal drum work. The guitars drudge along barely making riffs. It sounds likes the guitar line is repeated for the entirety of the song, with only slight embellishments here and there, such as a an extra note picked after a chord. Maniac's vocals sound exactly like they did with Mayhem's “Grand Declaration of War” only without the talking portions. In a nutshell: three chords played over six minutes and thirty seconds with Maniac screaming sometimes.
“A Valley Below” sounds extremely similar to “Slow Pain Coming”. The same slow as hell tempo is utilized. The same plodding three chord guitar line is used (well it sounds the same, maybe one or two notes difference). The same slower than slow drum beat. The same raspy vocals. The big difference here is that “A Valley Below” lasts almost nine minutes. Occasional sections of noisy reverb and feedback pop in around the six minute mark and eventually build into nearly two straight minutes of feedback.
“Kristiansen and Kvarforth Swim in the Sea of Equilibrium While Waiting” is possibly the most pointless release of all time. “Slow Pain Coming” and “A Valley Below” aren't bad tracks, although they are so similar in sound that they could pass as the same song. The fact that every song on here is available elsewhere is ridiculous. Limited to 393 copies, this serves as only something to possibly sell to someone less educated on eBay. Unless you absolutely love these three songs from Skitliv that you've heard or can hear on other albums and feel the undying urge to own them on a different release, then spend your money elsewhere.