Livsnekad - Den Sociala Vanförheten
Avantgarde Music
Depressive Black Metal, Doom
5 songs (1:01:10)
Release year: 2009
Livsnekad , Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat

Oh lord, what have we here? The cover art alone is bad enough, a miscoloured doll lying in black and white, the horrible implications of a doll alone in a stone room all too apparent to those used to this kind of nonsense, but the piano intro to first track Ödesdigrande Slentrian is worse, and yes, it’s fifteen bloody minutes long! Formed but two years ago and hailing from Sweden, Livsnekad are the latest band trying to capitalise on humanity’s innate misery, using the Doom-ridden palette attempted by others with varying levels of success. It’s a bit too strident and forceful to be pure Funeral Doom Metal, however, the expected angry shrieks a bit too annoyed to be thinking about suicide so much as giving the object of this ugly mood a good kicking. The riffs are gloomy, however, and the Black Metal elements are there, so best to think of Den Sociala Vanförheten as the misshapen mutant offspring of the two genres.

There are five tracks here, varying between nine and sixteen minutes long, and whilst none are exactly poor, there are none that do particularly amazing things, either. Perhaps the band members just haven’t had as shit a life as others have, despite Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth having lent his howl to proceedings in the past and a couple of members here also lending their talents there. The seemingly random acoustic passages don’t help – really, why bands persist in thinking that a bit of acoustic twanging will give your otherwise dull Metal that extra atmospheric drive is beyond me. Fine, it works up to a point in Becksvat Logik, but otherwise there’s no logic at all to it. When the band are plugged in, it’s all crashing drums, stolen My Dying Bride riffs and manic screams, and when the manic screams are the best part of a band’s sound you know that questions really have to be answered.

This type of music depends wholly on drawing the listener in and making it plain what the fuss is all about. Listening to Livsnekad is the equivalent of driving past a funeral procession – no doubt those intimately involved feel the emotional weight of it, but unless you’re a very strange sort of person there’s little to be drawn in by, and you’ll forget about it a few moments later. Music that appeals so bluntly to emotion has to be a lot better than this, otherwise it just misses the target completely, and whilst those who listen to a good deal of depressive music will appreciate Den Sociala Vanförheten, few will put it at the top of their Most Miserable lists, or even Best Album lists. Depressingly average stuff.

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