Review Summary: Svart’s 2013 release is more of the same from a band with strong, albeit done to death black metal ideal-isms.Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral
is another addition to a saturated genre, the album’s not bad, but it’s far from anything special that gives life to a bleak and despairing sound. Hailing from Sweden and boasts Draug (Shining, Acacia, ex-Livsnekad etc) who handles the entire of the act’s soundscape. Most would think that a member of Shining (SWE) would give a morbid life to any similar act, but the fact remains that this is yet another release relying on repeated atmospherics to achieve a dissonant sound; unfortunately the catchiness of the album’s riffs cheapens the foreboding themes and snarling vocal lines. It’s not inherently bad, but simply limits the potential calibre an album like this could have had. This one man project sits the line between mediocre and great, and somehow manages to avoid both descriptions.
It goes without saying that there is some enjoyment to be found within Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral
, but chances are it’s not going to revitalize a hope for a genre steadily dwindling in overall quality. For forty-five minutes Svart bring the listener atmospheric black metal, it’s simple, safe and enjoyable to a certain point. Take ‘Hädanfärd’ for example; simple piano dabbling in a minor key that build and layer with eerie soundscapes. It’s simple but effective and leads a quality introduction into a stereotypical doom inspired black metal track ‘I Bulimia Nervosas Välde’ and manages to break the album neatly in half. Highlighting the album is ‘Moder Jords Svärtade Sköte’. A track that takes the best of the albums sounds and brings them together in a whirl of snarling vocals and aesthetically pleasing blast beats. The track itself provides contrast and intensity, laying off the smooth atmospherics that floats over the album’s other tracks. It’s also important to note that at nine and a half minutes (the album’s longest track), there’s a lot to be taken in and is proof that this kind of extreme metal is not for the faint hearted.
At Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral’s
core, the atmospherics and cleans chimes give the catchiness of Svart’s riffs something to build on, but the effect gets a little repetitious. If black metal was ever made for ‘casual listening’ Svart’s Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral
would be the album to take the spot. There’s not too much to say apart from the fact that this isn’t going to set any records, nor is Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral
going to be disregarded as a quality yet done before black metal release. If you’re a fan of the genre, or even the other acts that Draug has worked on, then this is definitely worth a shot.
Overall, Svart makes headway with its 2013 release. It’s not mind-blowing, but it stands on its own. In a world not so populated by so many quality acts of a similar nature, Svart might be seen in a better light but as it is, Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral
is solid, if not slightly repetitive release.