Skitliv - Scandinavisk Misantropi
Season Of Mist
Doom, Black Metal
8 songs (1:09:14)
Release year: 2009
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

The debut full-length from former Mayhem vocalist Maniac after the promise of EP Amfetamin is a deeply fascinating album. Joined by Shining mainman Kvarforth on guitar, these two damaged individuals play a form of Doom that’s deeply influenced by the, well, misanthropy of Black Metal as well as the riffs. It’s quite a trip at nearly seventy minutes long, but it keeps you hooked simply by being bloody well written. Let’s face it, Maniac is no Attila, but he is a veteran of the scene nowadays after having led one of Black Metal’s most infamous bands for the years that he did, and his projects should receive more attention than they do.

This will probably appeal to one sort of Black Metalhead over another – those who have heard of Cold Spring Records will enjoy this much more than those who like a little more Thrash in their Black. The psychedelic ambience of lengthy intro Luciferon is a morass of spacey vocals and distorted vocals, and when the Metal does finally kick off with Slow Pain Coming, drums and slowly growing fuzzy guitars mixing with backing electronics before kicking into an old-school Doom riff, Maniac’s throaty screech instantly, weirdly, familiar. Various guest vocalists make appearances on the album, from Black Metal legend Attila Csihar (nice to see that there is no bad blood between the two) to Current 93’s David Tibet. It’s like a more robust, Doom Metal version of Mayhem’s fabulous Ordo Ad Chao, the riffs here ringing out rather than twisting horrifically in on themselves – yet there is an audible air of deeply pissed-off misery that makes Scandinavisk Misantropi a great listen. The aforementioned Doom riffs soon mutate into Black Metal and as familiar as some of the riffs seem at times, it all works brilliantly.

Hollow Devotion takes a more pounding approach, a faintly martial tone to the drums and riffs soon losing your attention as the distorted vocals ring out. Infinitely more Doom than the previous track, it feels a little repetitive at first as the same motif is hammered out over and over, but it builds up to a rather excellent drawn-out solo, making all eight minutes worth sitting through. Worth mentioning is the drumming of Haust’s Dag Otto and the third guitar of Sehnsucht’s Ingvar – the triple-guitar attack makes up for the lack of bass. Attila makes his aforementioned appearance with a grandiose spoken-word section opening the title track, backed with soft keyboards and early My Dying Bride-esque misery, and the epic title and epic-length of ten minute Towards The Sea Of Loss/Vulture Face Kain forecast an epic track, big riffs slamming their way majestically towards you before everything goes ominous and quiet as David Tibet does his (for me, at least) eerie thing with a spoken-word section. Personally speaking, he’s like something they had to cut out of the original Wicker Man film because it was too unsettling for the test audience; hearing his disarmingly high voice gradually becoming more and more out-there until it’s the very picture of horror. Current 93’s discography is a wide sea that I’ve barely dipped a toe in, and if his contribution here is any indication then that’s a mistake that really should be rectified. Building up to a scream, the Black Metal stomp that follows is a strange grounding, the cold water after the steam bath, but because you’re so wrongfooted by Tibet at the start it retains a disturbing anything-could-happen twistedness.

Elsewhere, a grandiose melody in the guitars (almost Nile-ish) keeps you gripped to A Valley Below, riffs nearly becoming psychedelic and out-there but always being dragged back by the essential base groove. Densetsu is a foul-mouthed crawl through filth that takes flight for Blackened realms soon enough, another kickass solo sliding into a surprisingly headbangable section that sounds more like Kvarforth’s main band than the Doomy Skitliv. It works excellently, however, an injection of energy that sets you up for the closing thirteen minutes of ScumDrug, never leaving the ground as the track is driven by snarls and piano tinkles, ending as weirdly as the album began. Without a doubt, Scandinavisk Misantropi won’t appeal to all, but those who enjoy a good deal of genuine darkness and experimental drive in their Blackened noise will find much to appreciate in this shit life.

Killing Songs :
Slow Pain Coming, Scandinavisk Misantropi, Towards The Sea Of Loss/Vulture Face Kain
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Skitliv that we have reviewed:
Skitliv - Amfetamin reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:26 pm
View and Post comments