Sound — 7
If you've heard other works of Lifelover, you will notice quite a large difference in quality and feel, compared to say, Pulver or Konkurs. The album starts off with "Frspel & Intrng" nice piano intro, with mild synth use, and as any intro, it should set the tone of the album, in this case, you can imagine it's an unhappy one. After the intro, we move onto a nice little diddy by the name of "Sweet Illness of Mine", its vocals are comparable to Joy Division, except more lifeless. Droning guitars, monotonous cleanly sang vocals, one of the weaker songs on the album. However, moving onto "I Love(To Hurt) You" We get the traditional Lifelover sound. Harsh vocals, dark sounding riffs guitars with piano melodies over-top. Piano and spoken word interludes to accompany the overall feeling of the song. Here's a different song of sorts, "En Man I Sina Smsta r", the song itself is comparable to "I Love(To Hurt) You", but explaining difference isn't the same as hearing difference. With that in mind, the way the songs are set-up, there is quite a large similarity between them, droning riffs, accompanied by rather simplistic leads, spoken word interludes, except the vocals are more appealing to the growling crowd, piano intertwined with riffs, creation of desolate atmosphere. "Ddens Landsvg", starting off a little slow, we caress our way deeper into this song, if you are not a fan of monotonous vocals, this track should be skipped, but this song creates a happier mood and picks up near the end, only to be CAST DOWN AT THE VERY END, surprises await you upon listening. Ahh, here we have, "Vlkommen Till Pulvercity", or the happy song, based solely on the overall feel of the song. Beginning with the rather joyous sounding riffs, and fairly upbeat way the song sounds, however, don't let the first riffs fool you, it's as mean and nasty as the other songs. We even get into a little clapping section throughout, "Vlkommen Till Pulvercity", that's right. Clapping. Avoid if you are afraid of clapping noises. Depressing our way into the next song, "Saltvatten (Du + Jag VS Tellus)", we will listen to next. It begins the same as it ends, slow, and with clean picking, and clean vocals as well, however, it does act as a nice lead into our next song.. .."Besatt", and oh my. The other happy song. With some very lovely cleanly strummed chords, and clean vocals, and even the singing's picked up a bit from it's gloomy ways, we find the piano has improved and is now used for a more happy feeling as well, definitely will brighten your mood listening to this song. However, all my talk of joy being in there, we still have a rather serious way to end the song, moving faster, and faster, distorted guitars, piano is still going, nice and calmly without error, a beautiful way to end the song... But, everything must come to an end, and we are met with, "Hstdepressioner", the vocals are cleanly sang, and back to the unhappy feel. A slight breathing noise into the mic, and we're off again. Back to the gloomy riffs, but only for a moment...This song could be more of a movie than it is a song, with so many spoken word parts, and laughing, it really does make you give you a strange feeling. The riffs turn from dark, to cheery over a very short while, this song is surely to bring a couple of chuckles. Alas, all good things must come to an end, again. "Humrets Bottenvning"..A way to say, all of that cheer, is nothing. Back down to the pits of discovery we go, and we are back to piano, and the slow banging of a drum, to be broken up every minute or so by some bizarre noises, scaring you out of your wits. You could call this filler, but filler's not always a bad thing, right? Speaking of filler, "Museum of Past Affections"..Such an engrossing title, it disappoints. Where their other workings would have prospered from this song, this song does nothing but blend and make itself ignored, until the end that is. Where we have something that could have made the rest of the song loads more enjoyable if implemented earlier. Not saying what it is, better off for you to hear it yourself. Well, there have it, it's our last song on the album, "Nitlott"..an 11 minute long joyous occasion. Beginning with the gentle tap on the snare, and spawning throughout, stays the same tempo, and among those ever-so-gentle snare taps, we find an immediate invasion of the keys. We're on another journey through life, and we are finding desolation. A song with so much to offer, and is so simplistic, that it will follow you wherever you go...But, it doesn't just keep on with the same old nothing, it evolves dammit, and does it ever evolve. Into something evil, malicious, dark, could not express it. Distorted guitars, booming synths, painful vocals, picks up speed, and delivers a nightmare, and ends on a soft note to ease your head. The album as a whole is a conflict with the other albums, and it didn't hold up to the natural sadistic ways of the other albums, however, that's not to say it didn't hold up to it's own expectations.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrically, this album consists of a lot of dark sounding, grim places to be. A lot of talk about how dark society is, and how dark love can be. Through fiddling around, and asking a certain Swedish fellow to translate some lyrical content for me, you'll see why. I Love(To Hurt) You "There was too much yesterday I don't want any more The only thing I see now is this stone cold floor the core for these lines an institution fr dying meat happiness sterilized from apathy monotone deathbringing concrete my heart pounds rebelliously (some sort of nauseated condition?) originates from motion A soul coloured like ashes En city, a block of misery Continously misery." As you can see, it's fairly open to how our world has some very low places, and captures that feeling perfectly. Vocals vary between some pretty tormented shrieks, to some deep, clean, very toneless singing, to some more enthusiastic clean vocals. Utilizes growls fairly well, and there is a distinct lack of them, where they could have been placed quite nicely. But, I digress, the way the songs are set up, it blends, and works.
Overall Impression — 8
I loved it. Drenched in misery, so hollow, and empty. The songs fit into place, and the way it bounced from complete joy, and succumbed right back into hurt and pain, was executed nicely, like it was expressing something deeper than the lyrical content gave to us. It's definitely worth a listen to, simply because it's different and unique, and to find another band such as Lifelover, is pretty difficult. They manage to execute desolation, maniacal intent, fear, and love all into the same album without them colliding. Deserves the praise of any black metal fan, depressed bloke, or just obscure music listener's ears.