Melancholy… But beware! This intro is not meant to have some philosophical expression of modernism versus old fashionism. When I just came into the scene during the second half of the eighties, all recordings were released on vinyl or tape. You had lots of rehearsal tapes, demos were released on cassette only, and full lengths were done on vinyl (LP); and you had EP’s (7”) on vinyl too. Then, during the nineties, the CD made its entrance, and since a couple of year, technology introduced digital possibilities. It has both its advantages as well as disadvantages. However, within several musical scenes, cassette editions and vinyl have never extinct. I know that the Techno / House scene has lots of vinyl stuff to offer (my brother used to be within that current for a while; luckily he cured…), but within the (Extreme) Metal scene, tapes and 7” / 12” releases have never totally disappeared. And nowadays, there seems to be a revival. There are tens, no, hundreds of labels within ‘my’ scene (Black / Doom / …) that offer nothing but vinyl and tape. I am aware that most people do not have a cassette-deck or long player anymore, but there is some kind of charm behind this idea.
A very young label is Misanthropic Generation Media, located in Sweden, that has two releases to offer right now, both of them on tape. It concerns Black Demon Rites (and I promise you to have the review on their Motmänniskan-demo written and updated very soon), and På Förtvivlans Krön by Svärta.
På Förtvivlans Krön is a four-track demonstrational recording with a self-printed, little primitive lay-out (melancholy once again, though one might wonder why we entered this newest century…), and done on pea-green tapes with a limitation to a scarifying edition of fifty (50!) copies only (hand-numbered).
The journey starts with a short instrumental introduction (Att Inte Längre Vara Människa), which I think is rather neglectible. The ‘real’ experience starts with Död, Glömd Och Begraven, with its five minutes the shortest composition out of three (that introduction not included). This track brings an epic and melodic, rather slow and utterly primitive, nihilistic form of grim, cold Black Metal with both atmospheric-melancholic as well as victorious pretentions. The hypnotic main lead, constantly returning throughout the whole track, isn’t but memorable, and the dense sphere, caused as well by the slower approach, isn’t but breath-taking. The same goes for Återgång, which is strongly comparable when it comes to the sound, atmosphere and general performance. However, Återgång includes faster parts, which sort of pay tribute to the supremacy of the Second Wave – and evidently the production of this tape reminds the listener as well to the glory of the Old School, with being edgy, raw and unpolished. In this case that rough sound isn’t but a necessity, and resulting successfully. A word, finally, about Ett Fönster Mot Helvetet, the last epic, which is the longest one with its eight minutes of length. It goes on in the vein of both former compositions, evidently, and sort of the definition of Svärta’s Black Aural Art. This track too is based on little melancholic melody lines and a slowed-down tempo, creating a freezing, mesmerizing and introspective vision on old styled intelligence, lacking of any form of trendy modernism whatsoever. Like the former track, this one also includes acoustic additions, but not of the simplistic Folk-oriented kind, yet of an enormously attractive, and extremely pronounced kind. …lovely and unique it is!
This is highly recommendable stuff, but I think the smart ones amongst you got the (bloody) point in mean time…