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The madness continues... - 95%

ODIR, February 28th, 2007

It has been one year since I first heard the debut Lifelover album, "Pulver", and it feels like the one year wait for a follow up has been way too long. Will someone hand this band a fucking achievement award for creativity and originality? Sure it sounds, like I've mentioned in my review for Pulver, like the Cure, Broder Daniel, and Kent mixed with Woods of Infinity and Ved Buens Ende, but that mix shouldn't sound too familiar to anyone.

With Erotik, Lifelover has seemingly aimed to perfect the soundscape created on the debut without changing direction musically (or lyrically), but instead evolving their twisted idea into something even more sinister.

Onto the music itself... The production has been greatly improved, and the leads are all as clear as they should be. The melancholic piano passages are not only present, but used more often than on the debut, which I think is great as it adds even more character and atmosphere to the songs. The drumming isn't too good. Probably because I generally dislike drum machines, and know little to nothing about drumming, and I'll leave it at that. On Erotik, catchy lead guitar riffs is much more utilized than on Pulver, and they're quite good and makes the song structures more interesting (a few songs on the debut got a bit repetitive).

Now on to the biggest surprise of Erotik. Hold your breath until you die; there's lots of clean vocals (as well as some "speeches"). At first, I was very, very skeptic at the thought of hearing these guys had used clean vocals, and to be entirely honest, on the first listen it struck me as pretty weird. After just a few spins though, the songs grew on me. The singing is not beautiful, just as it shouldn't be! It's all about the mood, and the darkness reflected through the music and lyrics. Even though there's undoubtedly humor present on lots of songs on Erotik, it's not the (in my opinion) "comedy" type of humor, but rather the mocking of life, society and all that is considered politically correct. To me, the narcotic, depressive darkness presented on Erotik is way more palpable than on most raw black metal albums I've heard recently. They just do it without screaming "satan!" fifty three times per song, using socio- and psychological themes instead.

As for the lyrics, they are great. Here's another surprise, there are a few lyrics written in English, which I presume will make some non Swedes happy. There's not much to say, the themes are similar to those on the debut. My personal favorites among the lyrics are "Besatt" (translation: Possessed) and Nitlott (no idea how to translate).

Standout songs: They're all very good, but my favorite will have to be the amazing "Museum of Past Affections".

In conclusion, I guess this will be the best release of 2007 unless maybe Deathspell Omega releases something new. Maybe.