Striborg - Mysterious Semblance

Sin Nanna does enjoy keyboard work and I have to admit I am sometimes mesmerized by the plodding nature of his sound. He is patient and feels no need to play along with the conventions of black metal even though I believe that underneath all that slowness is a hacking speedy black metaler trying to burst out (applaud if you get the reference). Therein is the rub. Striborg opens this album with trademark synth work but it does not just feel like opener music to something that will explode immediately afterwards as is often the case with metal bands that open their albums with something reminiscent of the classical. Mysterious Semblance’s particular opening track, “A Sour Pale Ghostly Dawn,” feels like it is content to be a track of its own with its own song structure and pieces of writing for itself. I think this is rare and really speaks to Sin Nanna’s songwriting abilities that are rather well represented on this CD.

I want to keep with this mesmerization and musical contentment idea for this review. If we think about the title of the CD, Mysterious Semblance, to exactly does the album have a semblance? The question alone begins the mystery. But to be more specific, I want to say that I think this album bares a mysterious semblance to the work of some one named Sin Nanna. Does this seem strange in some way? Well I hope so because the album is a discrete work of music art for Striborg in that it still features his synth and buzzing guitars but very much drifts through the land of a dead Sin Nanna, a Sin Nanna who is writing musical composition from a land other than the one he has been writing. This CD is not heavy and fast as his other CDs are. This one exhibits much more of that plodding ambient stuff that marks his work in only touches in previous efforts. That being said, in the fourth track, “Looming Black Apparition,” Sin Nanna really etches out space for the Ghost, both by beginning to call tracks names that include ghost in it, but also by allowing the chainsaw Sin Nanna to break out and really start to saw down that forest he seems so content to live in and still despise. This CD is just so slow compared to his other projects, that it is worthy of attention for, one, being so different, and, two, for realizing more complex songwriting skills than Sin Nanna has exhibited in any record I have heard yet. I actually believe this is his best album yet.

1. A Sour Pale Ghostly Dawn
2. Mysterious Semblance Of Spectral Trees
3. Dark Stom Brooding_Lightning In The South
4. Looming Black Apparition
5. The Ghostly Pallid Hand Of Fear
6. As Sad As A Cemetery In The Winter Darkness
7. The Screaming Winds
8. Lurking The Murky Damp Forest
9. Loneliness..
Displeased Records
Reviewer: Jesse
Feb 26, 2009

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