Label: Century Media
Morbus Chron has surpassed the musical limits of their first full length effort, Sleepers In the Rift. A fairly straightforward and well-liked old school death metal record. With their sophomore record, Sweven, this Swedish quartet enters territory that often only veteran bands venture into after an X amount of years in service: the post/progressive side of the metal. Away from the defined genres and breaking new ground.
After hearing the intro Berceuse, you will understand the album title. Sweven means dream/vision in Old English. Do not expect fancy dreams with hot girls and boys. This sinister Lack of Comprehension-esue piece of music makes you feel like you are in an endless maze, with things lurking around every corner. So far so good!
The transition to the second track Chains is smoothly and it builds on the tension created by the first track. The production of the record is raw, perfectly adding to the ominous atmosphere of Sweven. Like many songs on this effort, the song combines characteristic death metal elements, like muffled, pounding drums with aspects you sometimes hear in ambient metal: tortured, echoing cries of vocalist Andersson, spacey guitar melodies and soundscapes, on for example the first minutes of Towards A Dark Sky.
A noticeable thing is the scarcity of vocals on this album. On most songs some desperate screams or gutturals enter the mix, but they do not dominate. Luckily, the songs change in pace, alternate between riffs, melodies and edgy solo’s to keep the music dynamic and retain the listeners attention.
Real highlights on this album are Towards A Darky Sky, for the ambient elements the track incorporates, Aurora In The Offing as it is the perfect example of the music of Sweven and lastly, It Streches In the Hollow, for its haunting music, topped with a section of excellent dynamic death metal.
All in all, Sweven is a excellent step beyond the by now milked ‘new wave of OSDM/Swedish metal’, or whatever you want to call it. It still incorporates traits from this style, which should please and perhaps persuade the purists. Simultaneously, you’ll hear enough other musical influences that convince you that you are not just listening to another band that wants to leech of the success of a revived metal style. You’ll hear a group with a distinct musical identity.
3. Towards A Dark Sky
4. Aurora In The Offing
5. It Stretches In The Hollow
6. Ripening Life
7. The Perennial Link
9. Beyond Life’s Sealed Abode
Adam Lindmark – drums
Edvin Aftonfalk – lead guitars, vocals
Robert Andersson – lead vocals, guitars
Dag Landin – bass