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Bergraven > Till makabert väsen > Reviews
Bergraven - Till makabert väsen

Excellent Ideas Arranged Poorly - 78%

DementiaAccess, June 16th, 2021

Bergraven is one of the better black metal bands from Sweden, with a very unique experimental edge that appears to also draw influences from other great Swedish bands in a way that is equally unique. Unique, and inhuman. If the undead existed and had the faculties to write music, it would be very much like this. It is somewhat progressive in its execution, but still gets across a very black metal lack of emotion rather than seeming like an epic journey into deep and stirring emotions that you might get from similar bands.

First of all, let me just say that I really cannot stand this vocalist. He's reaching for a very dark and theatric guttural performance, like an actor portraying a demigod pleading not to be killed, but it sounds a little bit more like the director of a low budget porno scolding the actors for sneezing into his stash of blow. It would have sufficed just to go for a nice growl, or really anything else. The musical ideas on this album, however, are nothing short of excellent, it's just that they don't really seem to be going in any direction that makes sense, as if they had written the sections individually, and when it came time to record, they were like, fuck it, just slap them on there in any order. The tracks where this isn't as much of an issue are "Fasa," and "Hunger," which are not just organized more effectively, but have some of the best moments on the album. "Fasa" in particular is just as catchy as it is bizarre, also showcasing some pretty interesting guitar techniques that are difficult to identify. The only hint of standard melody on the album is some great usage of minor tonality that holds the stranger ideas on the album together like gorilla glue. A good example of wielding minor riffs in a very chilling way are prominent on the closing ten minute track "I timmen när allt är över," roughly translating to "the hour in which everything ends." With some well produced backwards guitar tracks, it's a fine way to end the album, creating a sort of apocalyptic effect that truly sounds like all life coming to an end. It's how a closing track on an inhumanly dark album should sound.

Although the drumming adds to the creepy atmosphere they're going for, it isn't a particularly remarkable performance. The drummer is good, but could have been replaced by just about any other drummer in Sweden. It sounds more like going through the motions and doing their job, rather than trying to act as its own instrument. That is what a drummer does, provides the spinal cord for a song, but considering that this is meant to be a more modern and avant-garde take on extreme metal, it would have improved the album if the drums were as unpredictable as the guitars. But as far as doing its job at grooving out with the slow and lumbering undead tunes, it passes with flying colors.

For fans of... fuck, I don't know. This is like if Dystopia was an experimental black metal band from Sweden with an angry undead porno pirate as the vocalist. In my opinion though, this is their best album, and a great place to start exploring their catalogue. Then you can show it to your friends who listen to Opeth and In Flames and they'll think you're cool, quirky, and counter-culture.