[sic] Magazine

Svarte Greiner – ‘Kappe’

The fact that the opening few seconds of this 4-track LP paralells (what I imagine to be) the sounds of a descent past the jaws of hell should warn the nervy, agitated and squeamish to turn away now. “Kappe” is the second full-length for Type Records from Erik Skodvin, one half of Deaf Center, under his Svarte Greiner guise.

Ironic titles aside, “Tunnel of Love” is a deeply unsettling listen comprising ghoulish screams, metallic clangs and an atmosphere of sheer pandemonium, the furious industrialized ambience paints a picture of the Devil’s own workshop. It’s rather disturbing, but curiously captivating. “Where Am I” has a disconcerting title and follows with a woozy concoction of shrieking cello/feedback that mirror images into the abyss, leaving the listener gasping for breath.

Skodvin’s debut LP, “Knive” remains something of a benchmark in nocturnal soundscaping. It itself is a bleak and uncompromising experience, yet occasionally shards of light would break through the darkness, in the form of distant angelic chanting, creeping out from its hiding place to portray some sort of contrast between Heaven and Hell. In turn, allowing at least a window of respite from the crepuscular shade.

There’s no such luck on “Kappe” as we’re thrown into the deep-end time after time. The oppressive, smouldering “Candle Light Dinner Actress” only increases the tension with grandiose, temple-like drones, ably abetted by Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Kjetil Møster’s sax shrills. The demented sounds swell in density before imploding into nothingness. Its final chapter, “Last Light”, is possibly the most melodic moment of the LP, but that doesn’t say much at all. Skodvin’s cello is seemingly strung with barbed wire and his playing style is intentionally abstracted and haggard. The effect is overwhelming as the whole piece develops from eerie (dis)quiet into a titan-sized drone that has captured the voices of lost souls into one hypnotic, despairing mantra.

What can be said of “Kappe” is the it is completely and utterly unique, I challenge anyone to come up with music as terrifying as this. It should be more than one can stomach, but like a great horror film, you won’t be able to turn away. It’s four tracks, forty-five minutes and one absorbing listen. Have you got the appetance to step into Svarte Greiner’s world?