Striborg - Atumnal Melancholy

I have not heard every single Striborg album, but I have heard and/or own most of them. I believe that AUTUMNAL MELANCHOLY might be the best release thus far by our solitary friend of Tasmania, Sin Nanna. But how do I explains the statement about one such musician who has pretty much created the genre of ambient depressive black metal (if those are the labels we want to use)? Well, I think there is something to AUTUMNAL MELANCHOLY that is very clean and filtered. It’s like Sin Nanna decided to take a slightly new look at his work and turn the automatic blast beats off and turn on the GodSpeed! You Black Emperor! full sound effect and decided to let the wall of depression be clearly defined in some way.

Sin Nanna’s vox are not too different from the myriad other releases I have heard. His voice still sounds like it was recorded from far away and is crawling out from a long dark tunnel or something. But the guitars and drums do not seem like the standard Striborg distorted buzzy black metal riffs and beats. I love that stuff, but this album deliberately works out a powerful un-rhythm behind that wall of static and melancholia. Case in point, the track “As A Hermit Hiding In The Trance Of Night.” That track opens with drums and guitars, though not too heavy on the drums. The beats are more like simple 4/4 counters marking time until death or implosion. The beats are there but they are very slow and quite cymbal heavy. Finally, a little more than halfway through the almost 12 minuts track the beats go away and a more ambient cymbal section takes over. Powerful. The next track, “In Oppressive Silence,” concludes that thought with a quiet sad keyboard twirl into memory’s foggy past.

Then the drama picks back up as the last three tracks, including the title track, speed up, wrap more power into the guitar’s playing, and clean up all the loose ends laying out there in the musical story. Sin Nanna has only done good work as far as I am concerned. But this album is so highly structured in my opinion that it is his best and well worth the investment.

1. The Scrying Mirror
2. The Void And Cloudless Sky
3. As A Hermit Hiding In The Trance Of Night
4. In Oppressive Silence
5. The Manifestation Of Black Residual Energy
6. Autumnal Melancholy
7. Meandering in Sorrow
8. Transfiguration Of Terror
Displeased Records
Reviewer: Jesse
Feb 26, 2009
Next review: Striborg - Solitude

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