|©Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum 2010
1. Red Sun Sets
2. Kosmisk Tomhet
3. Odelagd Framtid
4. Drifting Through the Void
5. Nightsky Interlude
6. Bury My Heart In These Starlit Waters
7. Planet Caravan
Technically lumped into the so-called depressive black metal subgenre, Sweden's Svarti Loghin manages to extract themselves from that style within the first pair of songs on Drifting Through the Void. This is their second release and although the title and some of the imagery suggests this band sits around and waxes melancholic about all things existential, but the album quickly demonstrates this band is not just another Burzum-esque act wailing away over thin sounding guitar lines. Instead, the band keeps coming up with various upbeat sounding guitar leads and melodies, which completely indicates these guys secretly have a smile in their heart and maybe, just maybe, a kick to their step.
Svarti Loghin may have placed themselves as a bit of an outlier to the whole "blackgaze/depressive metal" style that's been gaining steam. At times I can hear elements of the shoegazer sound, bass lines from the post modern college rock of the 80s, and even some singing that could be traced back to the better grunge bands of the early 90s. It should be, of course, mentioned that outside of some occasional subtle melodies, Svarti Loghin is most certainly not grunge. The vocals alternate between brooding clean singing and the despondent black metal shrieking. But despite that, the tendencies for the songs to have chord changes that feel upbeat and the general open, loose sound actually makes me think that Svarti Loghin could be almost considered dreampop for black metal. I'm stretching that definition quite a bit, but that was my initial impression.
The one complaint I have about Drifting Through the Void is that the recording quality could be better. The lower end of the spectrum is somewhat absent, which is a tendencies for far too many black metal influenced bands. Fortunately, the quality is adequate enough to allow the songs to be presented, rather than murder them in the studio's recording room.
Svarti Loghin may not be revolutionizing metal in any major way, but I find Drifting Through the Void to be a surprisingly good and listenable release. If you're one of those types who lean towards the Alcest world of post black metal and want a band who can weave in other influences, this may be worth checking out.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 03/2012