Svarte Greiner - Knive
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Svarte Greiner

Erik K. Skodvin is otherwise known as one half of the uber-dark duo Deaf Center, and his debut under the name of Svarte Greiner by no means lightens the load. In fact, Knive is easily more spooky and evil than last year's Pale Ravine from the duo, with moaning, groaning, surreal soundscapes that sound custom penned for the witching time of year (much like Xela's The Dead Sea).

Along with artists like Tim Hecker and even Deathprod, there's definitely been a lot of artists recently pushing ambient music into completely other realms, by incorporating darker and more oppressive sounds. One could argue that doom metal from the likes of Sunn 0))) and others have been pushing back in the other direction, but the artists mentioned above (along with Skodvin) are definitely taking hints from both doom and drone metal in their approach to creating their sounds. In many ways, it's not meant to be wallpaper or coffee table music anymore, instead crossing over into more dense and heavy areas that rumble at large volumes and even at quieter levels cause uneasy glances from those within listening range.

At any rate, Knive (which probably deserves a "sic") opens with "The Boat Was My Friend" and it gives you a good idea of what to expect as heaves of rumbling guitar spill out over one another while wordless female vocals and found sound samples of birds chirping take a slight edge off things. "Ocean Out Of Wood" is somewhat similar in construction, although this time it's swells of strings and creepy fret noises that mingle with more hovering vocals and some plucks of upright bass that all sort of swarm together into an uneasy cloud of sound.

It doesn't get any happier from there, as "Easy On The Bones" creeps along with a rhythmic sawing/scraping sort of sound while more string drones and disembodied vocals provide uneasy melodies. At almost ten minutes in length, "The Black Dress" is still one of the more effective tracks on the release, as filtered drones of humming guitar crackle with static before a chime pattern rings out and a burst of organs burns through the haze. With nine tracks running just about forty five minutes in length, Knive is an slightly unnerving, but largely enjoyable release that calls to mind everyone from a soundtrack to a David Lynch film to Coil. Halloween might be over, but you can never really have enough spooky music.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-11-09 21:21:36