Sorgeldom

Picture of Sorgeldom

Innerlig Förmörkelse

Sorgeldom - Innerlig Förmörkelse ©2009 - Frostscald Records
1. Insikter
2. Oroväckande Förlust Av Ett Förlorat Förstånd
3. Då Drömmen Dog, Dödade Dagen Dig
4. Livslusten For Med Vinden
5. Geväret Lades Fram, Processen Blev Kort
6. Innerlig Förmörkelse

Sorgeldom is a Swedish band that features a somewhat progressed black metal approach that incorporates both old 90s style blastbeats with moody instrumental passages as well as hints of progressive aspects such as Ved Buens Ende (just a tad in the bass lines). Their debut, Innerlig Förmörkelse, theoretically should have been one of those first releases that deserves some attention but this is a band that utterly bungled their production and unfortunately, it sounds deliberate. I get that black metal thrives on the unproduced, unpolished sounds. And yes, many black metal bands feature a sound that lives in the treble frequencies. However, Sorgeldom has pulled an Ulver and gone out of their way to eliminate the bass end of things to an extreme, nearly unlistenable level. It is as though once they hit the mixing table, someone found all the bass and midrange equalizer knobs and slid them right down. I've tried listening to this album over regular speakers and two different sets of headphones. Only my high end headphones have managed to elicit enough bass tones to make it even remotely tolerable. The band's songwriting suggests they have quite a bit of promise, but considering it's taken such an effort to not have tinnitus triggered by their ear splitting tones, it's hard to pick out any worthwhile moments.

The fact that this treble only recording approach was most likely deliberate is sad. Bands only get one opportunity for a first impression and Sorgeldom has made a poor one. It is entirely possible to engineer a raw black metal style in the studio these days, but this is just a bad caricature of that sound. I'm not sure what sort of thought process goes into this sort of effort. Sometimes musicians outsmart themselves and perhaps Sorgeldom simply didn't have anyone in their circle of friends to tell them this was simply a bad idea. Maybe one day they'll remix this and actually allow all the recording dynamics to be present.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2012

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Inner Receivings

Sorgeldom - Inner Receivings ©2010 Nordvis Produktion
1. I Kloaken Lättar Vi Ankar
2. The Cold Empty Void
3. Vintern Var Hård
4. Dårskapens Karneval
5. Summer Day
6. Inner Receivings
7. Drömmarnas Galax
8. I Väntan På Telefonsamtalet
9. Dyk

On Sorgeldom's debut, Innerlig Förmörkelse, the band committed a debut foul by apparently making a deliberately lousy sounding album by eliminating the bass end of the equalizer in the mix. There may have been some interesting moments in the songwriting, but the horrific listening experience made it next to impossible to tolerate listening to the album. Fortunately, Sorgeldom realized that black metal does not actually benefit from going out of one's way to engineer the recording to be terrible. Inner Receivings finds the band going for a more standard, listenable production rather than beheading themselves from the get-go.

So although the recording concerns have been addressed, Sorgeldom still comes across as a band that is trying to figure out their identity in the densely crowded world of atmospheric black metal. The material ranges from speedy, cold sheet metal (think Satyricon, except enjoyable) to brooding "blackgaze" style songs where Sorgeldom goes for a more ethereal sound. And in fact, they even cover the new favorite influence of contemporary black metal, Slowdive. There are meanderings into what has lately been described as "post-metal/rock" with "Vintern Var Hård". Interspersed are more typical, 90s influenced Norwegian black metal stylings. So to a certain degree it feels as though Sorgeldom is trying on different pairs of black metal shoes to see which one might fit the best. But, as the album progresses, their diversions into the more ethereal, atmospheric songs show the band has considerable potential in this realm. After all, we've heard standard issue black metal for nearly twenty years now, so it's fairly tough to add anything definitive to the style.

If you're curious about Sorgeldom, you're well advised to skip their debut altogether and begin your listening experience with Inner Receivings. Though obviously not perfect from their attempts to form a unique musical identity, the good moments outweigh the lesser ones and have me anxious to check out their next album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2012

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