Striborg - Foreboding Silence
Displeased Records
Black Metal
11 songs (43:56)
Release year: 2008
Displeased Records
Reviewed by James

So, Striborg are back again, after Autumnal Melancholy was released earlier this year, and I'm sure all twelve of our readers who are into deathly slow Australian one-man black metal will be wonder what Mr Sin Nanna has cooked up for us this time. And well, much of this record sounds exactly the same as Autumnal Melancholy, and the less exciting first half of the album at that. Of course, it's a little unfair of accusing him of making Autumnal Melancholy Part II, as by all accounts he's been making the same album for years. It's all weird-sounding guitars, keyboards lifted straight from A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors and distant, croaked vocals. Luckily, the core Striborg sound is unique and interesting enough that this release isn't a total trainwreck. Still, second time around Sin Nanna doesn't thrill me like he used to, though I'm still a lot more interested than I would be if I'd been on the Striborg wagon since day one. Any newcomers to the band will probably be enthused by this as I was by Autumnal Melancholy, but the rest of us may be starting to flag.

Looking at Foreboding Silence on it's own merits, however, it's a better record than it's predecessor. It's shorter and more to the point, the ambient dicking about on the last record mostly replaced with snippets of horror movie dialogue, which in my eyes are quite a bit more effective. As much as I enjoyed the glacier-paced, tar-black soundscapes of Autumnal Melancholy's second half, it is patience testing in the extreme. The bulk of Foreboding Silence feels like a better written, more accessible version of that record's first half, and so is a much more preferable starting point for the band (though with projects of this nature, one or two records are really all you need). Well done to Sin Nanna, mind, for daring to do something new on Weeping Abandoned Spirit. Staring off sounding like late-period Darkthrone, the song moves into a weird form of black metal that sounds like nothing else. I suppose the closest I can get it down to is Nattens Madrigal played at half speed, that record's melodicness fused with the funereal pace of more standard Striborg fare. Mr Nanna? More of this, please.

But ridiculously-titled Journey Through The Hills And Paddocks brings us back to the same old same old, and I for one feel a little dismayed that there's really nothing else new here. I mean, Sin Nanna's particular brand of black metal is very nice and all, but there isn't really that much depth to it, and really nowhere for him to go other than retread the same path of charmingly off-kilter riffs. He tries, bless 'im, but Sin Nanna has utterly painted himself into a corner, having built up such a distinctive sound over 4 years and 8 albums (and that's not counting split releases and the ever-flowing stream of demo re-release) that any radical changes would cause his fans to take flight. Speaking of Striborg fans, you're likely to lap this up, as on it's own merits it's the strongest material Sin Nanna has put out. In the context of the rest of his work, however, Foreboding Silence sounds like the work of a man literally unable to do anything else (he certainly is very skilled at what he does, mind). I suppose, then, assuming you're not some kind of obsessive fan, that your enjoyment of Foreboding Silence is gauged solely on how much of Striborg's catalogue you've heard. Making my quote, and this review, utterly meaningless, of course.

Killing Songs :
A Weeping Abandoned Spirit
James quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Striborg that we have reviewed:
Striborg - Autumnal Melancholy reviewed by James and quoted 86 / 100
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