If you read Forgjord’s press release, you’d think that this album was the bar-none absolute best Finnish Black Metal album ever created. When you listen to it, though, you don’t get that impression. I’ve heard plenty of bands that sound exactly like this, starting with Darkthrone’s infamous Transylvanian Hunger album. This is raw, noisy, Black Metal with a singer that has a seriously large amount of reverb on his vocals. And I mean a seriously large amount of reverb. This guy sounds like a kid trapped at the bottom of a well. When things get chaotic (which is often), the vocals bury just about everything. Part of the problem is the extremely “necro” production. When you suck the bass out of the guitars, you create a situation where anything lower-end (be it vocals, drumming or both) can drown them out. Most of the time, the guitars sound like white noise in the background. The vocals and blasting drums effectively bury any coherence they might have had. This band could benefit greatly from a studio engineer that knew what he was doing. There are some interesting elements here, particularly the weird atmosphere that they’re able to generate by being so raw and out of control, but the poor sound and incoherence of the guitars sink this. The truly “kvlt” will probably love Sielunvihollinen, but Necro Black Metal was never my favorite subset of the Black Metal style.
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