|Review: Sworn - The Alleviation|
Label: Twilight-Vertrieb Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Black/Folk Metal
Review online: September 11, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)
Well, I decided to check this band out after a personal recommendation (cheers Jake!), so headed to their MySpace site to hear a couple of tracks. Clocking the killer band logo, the cool artwork and decent sounding tunes, it was enough for me to investigate further still. Before I knew it, I had a copy of the album winging its way to me from Twilight Distribution and the rest as they say, is history. The first thing I noticed is that for a Norwegian band, these guys really sound Swedish. Sworn play a melodic variety of black metal with hints of old Naglfar mixed up with touches of old Enslaved and Windir stirred well into the mix.
The thing that these guys have over many of their contemporaries is the ear for a good melody (which of course is ultra important for such a melodic brand of metal, and where many have tripped up in the past). Also, there's a great pensive folksy spirit throughout the whole album, so when Sworn are not raging with fiery riffwork at flat out speeds, they're thoroughly rousing you with a style of battle scarred chorus that Graveland would kill for nowadays – real axe swinging shit. A whirlwind of tuneful riffage rises and falls around you whilst the album is playing, whipping around like a wistful spirit, occasionally adding textures via violin in 'The Beauty of my Funeral' (possibly the best song here) and plenty of melancholy to boot at all other times. The guitars work well together throughout the album, sporadically building riff structures through the use of two slightly different tremolo picked riffs playing out simultaneously, whilst returning to double tracked riffage at the chorus sections to drive the riffs home with that extra slice of acerbic bite.
It's needless to say; if you're a fan of this style of music you'll be sure to find a worthy album in this release. It's certainly had a great length of time glued to my CD player, something which is becoming more and more of a rarity these days for a debut release from a melodic black/death band.
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