Review: Sorgeldom – “Inner Receivings” (2010)

A band’s cover songs can often be quite revealing. Certainly, much of what makes Sweden’s Sorgeldom interesting can be summed up in their cover of Slowdive‘s ‘Summer Day’. First of all, it’s a Slowdive song, and how often do you see those on black metal albums? Secondly, it’s easily one of the album’s strongest tracks, with it’s uniquely ethereal atmosphere, dreamlike vocals and driving percussion. Finally, it doesn’t sound at all out of place – Sorgeldom’s highly experimental brand of black metal takes so many twists and turns and does it so effectively that little on the band’s sophomore album Inner Receivings comes as a surprise.

Summing up what Sorgeldom are doing on Inner Receivings is difficult, but in a nutshell it’s wildly progressive, slightly thrashy black metal with lots of clean guitar and occasional mournful half-sung, half-spoken vocals thrown in. Imagine Semen Datura‘s recent schizophrenic style with some Bergraven-style creepy melodies thrown in, and you’ll be somewhat close.

The guitar riffing is wildly unpredictable, rarely settling on a single style for long. Sometimes Sorgeldom will throw in weird, angular riffs, while other songs are full of progressive guitar wankery or clean-tone melodic meanderings. It’s all deliciously bizarre. Rather than sound disjoint, the constant flux has a cumulative effect, creating a singularly deranged, melancholic atmosphere that really helps to set this album apart from much of what’s been released lately.

Occasionally some of the more progressive, experimental sections go on a tad too long, but other tracks like ‘I Kloaken Lättar Vi Ankar’ or the titular track ‘Inner Receivings’ totally nail it. Sorgeldom is particularly effective when they decide to lighten things up as well, such as on ‘I Väntan På Telefonsamtalet’ or the Slowdive cover. While Inner Receivings does resemble Semen Datura’s latest album in some places, these guys are really in a league of their own musically, which is quite refreshing. Definitely recommended for fans of weird black metal.

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July 10, 2010 in Album Reviews

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