Review of Svart Lotus “Som et vondt år” [Hellstain Productions]

Review of Svart Lotus “Som et vondt år” [Hellstain Productions]

- in Reviews

Here’s a quirky dark metal album, not necessarily great but with all sorts of very entertaining and fascinating moments.

I call it dark metal because it’s a kind of unclassifiable album that has a black metal basis but adds all sorts of strange sounds to it. For example, “Distraction Industry”, the first track after a creepy intro, has raspy vocals straight from a 90s black metal album, but sort of thrash-y riffs and lyrics about how the entertainment industry manipulates us, I guess. Meanwhile, the title track is an interesting mix of doom and black metal, with a dark and haunting riff, lower growls and occasional singing, like a creepy version of Enslaved. This is one of the highlights of the album. There’s even more singing on “Hat og forakt”, with its catchy yet somehow eerie melody, alternating with raspy, echoing growls. These are the songs that prove how much creativity can be found on the album.

We get more doomy and dark tracks, such as Indifference and Wrath, which sounds more like death/doom, with its dialogue between low growls and raspy screams, over a heavy and dark, or at least repetitive riff. Luckily, it’s not so repetitive in the last part, where it picks up some nice speed. There’s even more speed with the thrashy riffs of “Cryptic Lights”, and its great solo that sounds like something from an old death or black metal record. It’s all contrasted with the weird raspy singing on the last part. Svart Lotus, the song named after the band, has a sort of sinister and melodic riff, that sort of reminds me of something, but I can’t figure out what. Otherwise, it’s a nice slice of eerie black metal. “Lurking Fear” is sort of Lovecraft-inspired, with the dark, eerie tone and doomy riffs to go with it. However, it can get a little repetitive.

That’s the album’s only flaw: it feels somewhat generic and repetitive at times, so you need many listens to really tell the songs apart and truly appreciate them. But there is a lot to enjoy here. There’s a sense of creativity, a great combination of unexpected elements, and a wonderfully dark atmosphere. If you’re looking for a fascinatingly dark and creative album, give this one a listen.

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