Release DetailsLABEL Hydra Head
RELEASED ON 5/22/2007
posted on 6/2007 By:
Straight up, I'm not kvlt or trve in the least bit. I have no problem admitting that. Hell, I readily admit to listening to stuff like Mates of State... and I can still kick your ass. That's probably why I have been diggin' on this Bergraven disc so well; it is barely black metal at all.
Bergraven is the one man black metal project masterminded by Par Gustafsson, but don't grab your razors yet kids. Instead of the dreary, suicidal snoozefests popularized by Xasthur and Leviathan, we are greeted by a unique, progressive metal album with a blackened edge. Agalloch is a loose reference point in terms of the extent to which the black metal influences are incorporated; the only real connection to black metal being the use of rhaspy vocals, haunting melody, reliance on mood and atmosphere and a sense of claustrophobic paranoia.
The majority of Dödsvisioner is mid-paced, rolling grooves accented by abstract, textured riffing and the effective use of pedal steel embellishments. No blast beats, nothing particularly cold or grimm, just weighty compositions with a progressive edge that veers ever so slightly to the NeurIsis side. The pedal steel has basically the same role as it does in Red Sparowes, as just another layer to the cake rather than a gimmicky selling point and it really isn't used all that frequently. Don't get me wrong with the Red Sparowes and NeurIsis references because Bergraven is definitely doing its own thing and can just as easily be likened to Enslaved or Nachtmystium.
Dödsvisioner's strongest attribute is its ability to carve a unique niche without simply sounding weird, while its weakest attribute is its inconsistent energy level. Despite being creatively engaging, the album plods along slowly between its standout moments and steadily loses steam until the overly long, dragging fadeout of the last track, "Doende (en avslutning)." With an endpiece that made a stronger statement and a better effort to maintain a steady level energy throughout its entirety, Dödsvisioner might have made a serious run at end of year list status, but as it stands this will most likely be overshadowed by more complete albums.
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