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Sjuklig Intention. - 50%

Perplexed_Sjel, April 1st, 2008

Hailed as one of the best black metal splits of all no time, both Dimhymn and Hypothermia return to our attention in the form of this odd split. Most people tend to regard Sweden’s Dimhymn as a depressive black metal act, I myself don’t. I find it quite odd, in actual fact. Depressive black metal is a style that progresses ever so slowly, crushing whatever hopes one may have with the agonising and anguished vocals whilst being accompanied by a much slower chord progression on the guitar. Whilst Dimhymn clearly have rasping vocals down to a T, they don’t strike me as depressing. The general atmospheric nature is rather aggressive more so than anything. Apart from the interlude we’re offered, the Dimhymn style tends to digress into a much more angry state. I’ve never really been a fan of Dimhymn. The odd song progresses away from their rather generic sound, but on the whole, it’s just that, generic. By and large, the music of Dimhymn would require a very specific mood, one of which I’m not entirely clear of. Is this meant to be aggressive? Did the band set out to specifically achieve that impression? The lyrical themes would suggest that depression is amongst the main aspects of human emotion that the band delves in to, but I just don’t see it. The last track on the split begins much in the vain of a depressive outfit. The howling wind sample, although a little clichéd but ultimately better than anything else we’ve been offered in terms of soundscapes and slow evolution of the guitars would suggest a turn in events. It all points to a typical depressive outfit, until of course the tremolo plucking takes hold and the vocals, with all their rasping might, take the band by the neck and attempt to give their sound a little more edge. Dimhymn often confuse me. They seem to be unaware of what direction they are meaning to take and unfortunately for them, it passes off on the bewildered audience who’re still trying to establish what is going on exactly. Whilst there is an edge of experimentation for this outfit, the riffs especially, are rather lacklustre. Repetition does play it’s part, which suits the Hypothermia side of the split, but Dimhymn lack that certain something that makes them a powerful essence within the black metal scene. Whether it’s due to the seemingly clueless direction, or the simple fact that the music, especially atmospherically, is rather bland, I’m not entirely sure. It may ever be a collaboration of both.

Now for the Hypothermia side. ‘Fran Ert Depraverat Inre’ may just about be one of the all time best Hypothermia songs. When I first listened to this split, I had high hopes of the Hypothermia section and thankfully, it delivered, unlike the Dimhymn side. This fist song is rather typical of Hypothermia. We had a slow build-up, which gradually increases in intensity. The guitars playing a rather slow, sombre number before the pain-induced vocals scream their way into the foreground. Although the vocals aren’t probably considered the most experimental in black metal history, they are without a doubt affective at what they’re attempting to do. The pain of the vocals is very much carried over into the audience. Hypothermia have always been vastly skilled at displaying the negativity of human emotion. The way in which they portray it is done superbly. Slow and rather mournful guitars. The static nature of the drums, patterns which tend to repeat themselves like the way rain drops fall from the sky. Beating down hard on our withered bodies with every pound of the drum. The most accessible side of this split is the Hypothermia side. The inclusion of clean vocals took me rather by surprise, so those of you who tend to call black metal uncreative can now think again. The echoes of the vocals mirror the soundscapes which the instrumental side of Hypothermia, delicately, but deliberately lays down in our path. As for the longer song, the affect is much the same. Slow, deliberate and uncompromising. Perhaps needlessly long, the song does tend to drag on for a while, but in it’s glorified painful state, one cannot help but admire the sheer effort that went into making this incredible side of the split. Whilst Hypothermia do give this split some worth, the Dimhymn side really is a let down.