Slagmaur - Svin
Osmose Productions
Black Metal
5 songs (27:02)
Release year: 2009
Slagmaur, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat

This re-release of the Norwegian band’s 2007 debut does a good job of spreading the black word about the trio before their new album comes out later this year. Originally, the first copies of this album came packaged with a special ‘Church-burning’ matchbox as a tribute to the origins of Black Metal, so you can see where Aatselgribb and company are coming from! The band claim to be Avant-Garde, and although they have a deep and immersive sound there’s little really Avant-Garde about this beyond the vocalist’s propensity towards bowler hats in photoshoots; instead, Slagmaur take the atmospheric route to their particular Black Metal sound. The band drape their dissonant guitar riffs and steady drum beats with large amounts of keyboard ambience, surprisingly effective as a closed-eyes-and-headphones sort of thing.

What annoys is that there are only five tracks here, coming in at a grand total of barely twenty seven minutes. It’s all too common for bands to make EPs and then release them as full lengths, and it’s always annoying; take solace in the fact that Svin is a decent album. The mid-paced beats and dissonant growls of opening dirge Nekk Brekk Support soon are joined by uneasy Industrial-type whirrs and it all ends messily, suddenly sliding down before the similar but better Skrell Skjaer Svin begins, a more Godflesh-driven assault seeming to dance psychedelically. The Work Which Transforms God-era Blut Aus Nord is a good comparison, but this is different; less varied, less eerie, more interested in general dissonance than specific disturbance.

Aside from some spoken verses towards the end of Skrekk Slegg Slag and a bit of unaccompanied keyboard opening Heng Them Høyt, there’s little change from the base template at all. The best track present is definitely the longest, Will Sher Svain at nine minutes of length; fading out and then returning most unexpectedly in a different, desperately frantic atmosphere, crazed vocals providing the one true feeling of unease. If you’re at all familiar with the works of Blut Aus Nord then you really have nothing to see here; it’s hardly terrible, though; the roots of genius are buried somewhere deep within Slagmaur’s sound, and perhaps they’ll germinate into something worthy on the forthcoming Von Rov Shelter.

Killing Songs :
Skrell Skjaer Svin, Will Sher Svain
Goat quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Slagmaur that we have reviewed:
Slagmaur - Von Rov Shelter reviewed by James and quoted 63 / 100
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