Embittered Darkness / Isles de Morts
posted on 7/2006 By:
NOTE: Despite the low scores shown above, I actually enjoyed this album quite a bit.
What’s On Tap: Miserably grim, buzzing, subnormal, unhealthy, lo-fi, simplistic, wacky black metal from a guy who lives in fucking Tasmania.
Deep in the heart of ‘Frisco, there’s a fantastic little store called Aquarius Records (
Most every person that normally visits this site would probably immediately find themselves put off by what this record delivers on the surface – the production is warped and decidedly lo-fi, the songwriting is at times repetitive and quite simplistic, and the musicianship is nowhere near perfect – all elements that would seem to demand a scathing review. Alas, not so my friends, for as simple and deranged as Striborg’s music is, I find it extremely genuine, heartfelt, strangely warm, and interesting, which is enough to pique this black metaller’s interest and keep me coming back for more. Plus, the guy’s from Tasmania for hell’s sake…Tasmania! An island the size of West Virginia (with a quarter of that state’s population) that devotes well over a third of its land to 18 national parks...It’s no wonder Sin Nanna sites nature as his key influence.
Embittered Darkness / Isles de Morts is actually two of Sin Nanna’s projects pooled together and released as one. The first six tracks, Embittered Darkness, represent Striborg’s latest recordings, and while they’re unquestionably Striborg-ian, we see the material going even further in the direction of a more creeping, plodding black metal. The guitars are still fuzzed and trebled to the point of sounding like a horde of angry bees, but the pace of the songs (two of which clock in at ten minutes, one nine) is kept seriously at bay by the slow, rolling, less than perfect drumming. Skating turbulently above everything in the mix is Sin Nanna’s seriously fucked vocals. If I had to try and think what sort of creature could possibly vomit such a voice, I’d say the following - try and picture yourself all cozy and ready to drift off to sleep. As your mind begins to drift into the black, you’re visited by the floating, maggot bloated corpse of Tattoo from Fantasy Island, caterwauling his rotted misery until you’re forced to cram his falling maggots into your ears to save what’s left of your sanity – I’d say that about sums it up. Nestled comfortably between the three longer songs are three shorter, instrumental tracks that incorporate atmospheric keyboard backdrops, tubular bell inspired tones, and discordant, catchy acoustic strumming.
The last ten songs on this release, Isles de Morts, are actually re-released 1997 material from Sin Nanna’s early days under the moniker, Kathaaria. This is where the meat of this record lies for me. The Kathaaria side of the coin is much more visceral, faster, and directly to the point. The guitars swirl and attack like buzz saws on the back of your neck, and the drums are much faster and cleaner as compared to the Striborg material. Basically Isles de Morts would be a fitting soundtrack for being pelted to death in a hailstorm while trapped on a frost blasted mountainside.
So, hopefully I’ve made myself clear; while I’ve chosen to score Embittered Darkness / Isles de Morts quite low, the elements that make up MetalReview.com’s scoring system really have nothing at all to do with why I love this record - it’s totally fucking bizarre, completely loathsome, dementedly delivered, and yet strangely enjoyable and engrossing. And despite all this, I’d have to say I don’t recommend it to our readers at large.
Register to post comments.