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Black metal isn’t really my cup of tea . There are some exceptions, and Sworn is one of them. Formed around 2005 in Bergen ( the hometown of important black metal acts like Immortal and Gorgoroth ), this young quintet makes their debut with “The Alleviation” . Its 35 minutes show clear influences of varied genres, like melodic death metal, thrash metal and even some viking/folk metal, while keeping their melodic black metal sound. Those influences make their sounds quite unique, keeping them apart from their "neighbours" Enslaved,Gorgoroth and Immortal. The six songs ( seven, counting a small instrumental interlude ) are very interesting and mature, varying between speedy tracks full of melancholic melodies, thrashy riffs, NWOBHM influenced solos and those indispensable, fast tremolo-picking rhythm guitar riffs and slower parts, with a harsh viking metal vibe. The vocals, cold and high pitched fit the atmosphere of the album, but some variation in the vocal department wouldn’t be a bad idea. The song structures show some maturity and variety with the drummer varying a lot between fast and slow tempos.
Concluding: a good melo-black album and a very promising debut.
(originally written for pivotal rage )