Striborg – Nefaria/A Tragic Journey Towards the Light
Southern Lord Records
Lone member Sin Nanna creates lo-fi ‘depressive black metal’ with inaudible vocals and few refinements in structure or otherwise. Some may find it difficult to continue listening past the first few minutes of the first track (“Nefaria”). Honestly, I am no snob in regards to production values, but rarely have I heard anything this poor. The instruments are separated so much in the mix that it sounds as if there are multiple songs playing at the same time, and they do not mix well. This may be an extension of disjointed song writing, but whatever the cause it’s hardly listenable to my ears…just somewhat boring. Next comes the haunting keyboard instrumental track titled “Permafrost Forest,” followed by “Somnambulistic Nightmares.” The atmosphere changes here, introducing a doomy vibe and more coherent instrumentation/production. Thankfully, the much of Nefaria is an extension of this and finds it’s feet somewhere in the realm of Xasthur territory and the shadows of Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger on the blast parts. It’s nothing new or special, but those who crave the noisier side of darkness will be appeased.
A Tragic Journey Towards the Light
Striborg’s 1995 demo material begins with a dramatic intro and promptly falls flat on its face. Reverb-soaked vocals overpower the fuzzy guitar parts, the programmed drums even sound off time, and I’m not sure as a whole what’s even happening here. Why it’s been preserved is beyond me, but that’s just my opinion.