Lifelover – Konkurs – 4/5
For a while now this artist has sat on the bench, back when I first discovered them a lack of funds and freely distributed material meant what could have been one of the first reviews for the blog was put on indefinite hiatus until I saw this release being sold and jumped at the chance to finally get around to an artist that would seem to promise so much. I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that it reminds me heavily of the likes of Fleurety and Diapsiquir in its unconventionally morbid style, but it neither reaches the melodic creativity of the former nor the chaotic dissonance of the latter. Instead of their meandering unbridled avant-garde creativity we have a thickly layered atmosphere with a unique twist; nothing too bizarre but enough to give it a unique flavour.
The drumming feels cold, sterile, and ultimately fairly limp and lifeless which whilst doesn’t fit with my personal tastes I can’t deny suits the mood of the music relatively well; each slow, grinding, monotonous note halting all too abruptly in a deficiency of energy. There is also the occasional tendency to throw in an odd instrument; an accordion solo in particular feels out of place, and these offshoots often fail miserably in maintaining the atmosphere. Yet, despite feeling as though thrown in haphazardly I can’t help but be thankful for a break in the slow grinding despair that through its own consistent intensity and monotony becomes rather painful to listen to in large doses. It is the guitars that fill this void; psychedelic slow-motion tremolo riffs juxtaposing piano lines form dark dreamscapes laden with nauseating, permeating maniacal depression.
Another cause for complaint comes from the vocals; when sung cleanly it works surprisingly well, and the growls whilst certainly not too unconventional, too are fitting. What he tried to accomplish with his mumbling warble, however, is quite frankly beyond me. I despised it when Cobain thought sounding drunk and depressed was a good idea and I’m not sure what possessed these Swedes to imitate him, but then perhaps this is just one of those things that I’ll never understand. There are many elements here I’ve voiced my distaste for here but ultimately I have a hard time knocking them too harshly for it because it all goes towards creating a certain atmosphere, and I daren’t say it failed to do precisely that. There’s a disappointment from me in how this release turned out, but I can’t help wondering if this time the fault is my own, looking for avant-garde and finding DSBM.
Highlights: Mental Central Dialogue, Cancerted, Twitch, Narcotic Devotion