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Siebensunden - "Siebensunden/Teratologen" (CD/EP)

Siebensunden - "Siebensunden/Teratologen" CD/EP cover image

"Siebensunden/Teratologen" track listing:

1. Herrens Djuriska Njutning (23:47)
2. Gläd Dig Du Kristi Luder (20:43)

Reviewed by on April 27, 2009

"The unwavering appearance of the vocals is what pushes this from acceptably avant-garde to approaching asinine."

"Siebensünden/Teratologen" is a collaborative release melding poetry and avant-garde drone music, a meeting of minds from the northern realms. The music comes from Swedish sludge/drone band Siebensünden and lyrical weavings have been provided by fellow Swede Niclas Lundkvist (aka Nikanor Teratologen), a novelist with a penchant for violent sadism and misogyny (in his writing only). Apart from a distinct and rabid dislike for Christianity, I'm not going to attempt any translation of the lyrics of which unfortunately are probably the shining jewel of this album.

Well I guess that leaves us with the music. Sigh. Most of what should be in a drone release is nestled into the two 20 minute tracks, sitting colorlessly mirrored like bleak twins from Kubrick's "The Shining." The variation in both tracks ranges from zero to almost-some-but-more-like-none, consisting of slow punk/sludge riffs cycled ad nauseam. Unfortunately, both tracks haphazardly miss the holy grail of drone mesmerism and disappear somewhere into the lone distance.

The vocals, being the other standout feature on display, are a bizarre affair to say the least. What starts out as the sort of commendable boundary pushing vocal experiments drone bands are known for (Sunn O)))'s "My Wall" anyone?), turns rather unsavory and bland after the first track. While most would deem the vocals laughable and shudder at a somewhat infantile foreign enunciation, the unwavering appearance of the vocals is what pushes this from acceptably avant-garde to approaching asinine.

Normally production is a factor that doesn't play a huge factor in my reviews, but I'd say two 20-minute, near single riff songs can count as an exception. Despite trying to pass this release off as having a sludge/punk meets drone underbelly, it's no excuse to skimp on the aural candy. Has this been induced by listening to too much Type O Negative? Maybe. Maybe not. But any fan of drone music must surely also expect to be able to have his or her mind warped into a slushy introspective mess when using a good set of speakers, and I didn't particularly warm up to the harsh and empty base of this release.

And so it remains an unfortunate point that I cannot speak a word of Swedish. But in the spectrum of all too easily creatable drone and avant-garde music, its remains especially important to separate the awe inspiring wheat from the one riff chaff. All in all, I'd recommend this EP to Swedish sludge/drone enthusiasts only, and that my friends, is one helluva small fan base.

Highs: Punk/sludge infused drone riffs for those who can handle the vocals

Lows: Monotonous, and at times farcical attempt at something that probably sounded like a good idea at the time

Bottom line: Lackluster meets out of place, a bleak abortion of a drone album

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)