Lifelover - Sjukdom
Black Metal
14 songs (56:03)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Jaime
Every so often there'll be one band that your friends will always be going on about and insisting you listen to at every twist and turn. For me that band was Lifelover, so finally I succumbed to the peer pressure and decided I'd give their newest album, Sjukdom, a shot. "Oooooohhhh...." quickly descended into "Oh." as the first track Svart Galla's rather intriguing little intro gave way to blatently synthetic drums and a rather dubious piano part that seemed both out of time and place. Any atmosphere that they were trying for is pretty much ruined thanks to these issues, and while the guitars sound rather nice and there are some decent black metal riffs the fact that they're basically dry as a bone compared to the effect drenched vocals was a bit offputting in a bad way, as apposed to an unnerving or unsettling way. Led By Misfortune at least uses the lead guitar as opposed to that piano, but the drums and riffs that Amon Amarth would probably find boring didn't help the band any, and Experanda was just a chore to sit through that's exasperated by the amateurish production.

The band finally kicked into gear with Homicidal Tendancies, which was basically a straight up, old school black metal song. Simple but effective though I could have done without the samples here and in Resignation, which carries the same sort of feeling as the previous track up until the chorus, after which things go rather badly. While I haven't pointed it out in the other tracks I struggle to understand how a band managed to have an released by a fairly well respected, albeit small, label with so many obvious performance mistakes and production errors. I'm not entirely sure if it's a joke or not really. Back on topic, Doften Av Tomhet had a few of the issues that plagued Svart Galla but the piano didn't grate to the same degree to begin with. The random little sample into what was practically a breakdown was a little strange, and the piano solo(?) didn't help either. Totus Anctus got my hopes up again with that kinda old style black metal intro, but the clean sections did nothing for me here. However the keyboard into was actually not too bad.

Horans Hora was a practically HIM song with growled vocals. I'm not sure if understanding the lyrics may have changed that or not, but that's the impression that it left me with. Bitterljuv Kakofoni was probably the most interesting track on the album, as it actually sounded unnerving and atmosphere and, well, not terrible. It's what I would have been expecting from the sort of clean sections from the band in the first place, yet they decided to just bundle it all into the one song instead. A shame really. The straight up black metal reappears with Becksvart Frustration and that second word sums up my thoughts on the album as a whole. It was alright, the vocals were way too high in the mix for my liking and just distracted from the feel of the track. More psuedo-gothic posturing can be heard in Nedvaknande and in Instrumental Asylum, and although the latter's lack of vocals helped it out immensely it still felt like a drag to sit through. Electric percussion leads into Utdrag for a rather upbeat track with the spoken vocals over the top. In contrast to basically everything else on the album it was a pleasant change, even if it had the same constant repetition that seeps though the rest of the tracks. Finally (FINALLY!) there was one. Karma, which I'm now due plenty of after sitting though this, is a death metal track with vocals that are drowning in reverb, dodgy pianos and fake drums. You can guess how it turned out.

While some may call this album "raw" or whatever I'm still rather bemused as to how the band managed to get it released in the first place. In this day and age there are no excuses for sloppy performances or poor mixing and editing, especially for a signed band. The entire album comes across as being very amaturish and make me feel that the band just weren't taking this seriously. If the language barrier hadn't been in place I may have felt a little differently, but regardless, the music and performances pretty much sealed their fate in my book. This is bad.
Killing Songs :
Homicidal Tendancies, Bitterljuv Kakofoni
Jaime quoted 46 / 100
Other albums by Lifelover that we have reviewed:
Lifelover - Pulver (Reissue) reviewed by James and quoted 87 / 100
Lifelover - Konkurs reviewed by James and quoted 83 / 100
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