Svarttjern – Misanthropic Path of Madness

For a Norwegian band, Svarttjern really doesn’t come off as one stylistically. Their sound doesn’t possess that eerie woodland atmosphere often shared by their fellow countrymen; in fact, this band has opted for the brutal approach to the genre. Some really connect with this delivery, but even though I can hear some substantial song development within Svarttjern’s compositions, the lack of overall feeling leaves me unable to gain any sort of connection to this music. It doesn’t help that vocalist Hans Fyrste centers all his efforts on a dimensionless, mid-ranged snarl. The production itself is quite punchy, allowing the crunch dominant verses and tremolo speed picking to shine through with suitable clarity. The music itself seems to be more focused on a late era thrash persona (“Upon Human Ending” in particular… this track feels like something I would have really been into back in high school with its subtle German thrash elements in the guitar work) in feel and attack, with precision blast beats replacing moshable D beats. Where Svarttjern succeeds is in their overall execution. The maimed naked victim on the cover pretty much sums up the delivery and intent of the sonic message this band is trying to convey. Again… some can gain something out of such an attack, but I prefer a bit more life and originality in the riff work and dynamics in the overall songwriting. For what it is, “Misanthropic Path of Madness” is hard to outright discredit, for the talent wielded by Svarttjern is evident. Their style however has been manhandled many times before them and in order to stand out in this overpopulated crowd, a band had better be at the top of their game. Svarttjern simply sound like a young band still figuring out how to define themselves musically… this is their debut full-length after all. Perhaps future releases will find some much needed development entering into their blasphemous equation. –Marty


~ by martyworm on January 4, 2010.

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