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An Allieviation From Exhausted Genres - 75%

Daru_Jericho, October 13th, 2008

Sworn’s style can best be described as melodic death metal meets melodic black metal, with various other metal subgenres compiled with this pairing. While many consider melodic black/death metal to be exhausted genres, Sworn have coupled these genres to create a recipe for original music.

The moods encouraged in this music are contrasting for the most part. ‘Crow of Passage’ is loaded with despair whilst the proceeding track ‘Vivid Visions’ uses black metal riffs to create a positive sound. This is quite a challenge to undertake but these Norwegians have executed it successfully, placing these non-archetypal black metal riffs along side riffs that are reminiscent of early Satyricon.

‘Derived’ is an intriguing instrumental with a sound quality that makes it appear as though the listener is hearing and old record player. There is the presence of a violin and the simplicity makes the brief piece sound eerie. This is a nice touch.

The primary limitations of this release are that some of the guitar riffs become tiresome, not so fresh to hear repeatedly in an entire passage of music. On a more trivial matter, this album just does not seem to be lengthy enough, clocking in at under forty minutes for seven tracks. The mood is one that takes a while to digest but as soon as one is engulfed by it, the album ends. This is fresh music, embellished by great production. More of it is certainly in order.

Originally written for: www.soundshock.net