Release DetailsLABEL BlackMetal.com Records
RELEASED ON 7/17/2005
Mjollnir (That Smashes)
posted on 12/2005 By:
Bleakly epic, cragged, vaguely Viking black metal that’s culls from both Bathory and Burzum is on tap here, and while a solid release, it's nothing I’m going to get my chain mail in a wad over.
Combining stark, droning black metal riffs (the Burzum aspect) and heaving, mid paced, Viking atmospheres and themes (the Bathory side) Sykdom’s second album delivers 5 lengthy, repetitive tracks of black metal that’s a little too restrained for its own good, but does contain some misty, grim ambience as opposed to the usual frosty hyper speed that primal black metal leans on.
The tracks generally lope along with a little urgency, but a fatalistic mood and controlled pace, (the vast “I am God”) occasionally graced by some flaky synths. Sometimes they will spurt out a generic blast beat or more traditional black metal gait (“Fucking War”, “Hekseri”), but even when doing so, remain rather bland. The ambling length and pace of the tracks will test your patience, but when given a little more atmospheric girth, such as “What Lies Beneath”, they become a little less grating and droning, and more in the Bathory side of epic. In fact, it’s not until “What Lies Beneath” that Mjollnir registered with me, but that peak is soon washed away with the barren lope of instrumental “Hekseri”, though it has a nice Viking horn/acoustic segment. It’s too little atmospherics too late and the single repeated piano note just plain annoyed me. The untitled 5th track might be some sort of cover as it’s a traditionally grim and paceless blasting black metal track.
The production is suitably grim but not gratingly so, as the synths liven things up a bit, so there is the expected lack of bass. The vocals, when used are the expected desperate screams with no variety.
Ultimately Mjollnir left me with a sense of unfulfilled and undecided grandeur; is Sykdom epic and lofty or grim and barren? They never seem to decide, so ultimately this band isn’t one I'll be checking out soon until they make a commitment either way.
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