Sweven (SWE)
The Eternal Resonance


2.5
average

Review

by Pon STAFF
April 3rd, 2020 | 101 replies


Release Date: 03/20/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Breaking: Robert Andersson caught playing in tribute band to himself.

No matter your thoughts on Morbus Chron’s last hurrah, Sweven, its peculiarity was undeniable – an effortless blend of old school death metal, progressive tropes and psychedelia, potent and charming enough to meander about our head-spaces for entire afternoons. It upended what it was to be a death metal album, casting aside the concept of brevity yet never once feeling overlong. It dared to face an audience that has come to expect guns blazing until failure, then filled an hour with death-laced rumination and somehow made it satisfying. Simply put, there was nothing and nobody quite like Sweven and Morbus Chron; that was until, uh, Sweven rose from the ashes of the latter and bestowed upon us 2020’s The Eternal Resonance.

The man behind both the current and former projects, Robert Andersson, appears to be resting on his laurels in that the core aesthetics of Sweven the band, and Sweven the album, are practically identical but for a discrepancy in pacing. Something that can never be said of its 2014 spiritual predecessor is that, well, The Eternal Resonance has been done before. Sure, nothing is wholly original, but it’s hard to become enamoured with Andersson’s latest work when it's not just a retread of something that could never be described as such, but an inferior one at that. This isn’t to say the album is poorly performed or produced; the overall sound is dynamic and suitably dreamlike – clean and reverberant, draped in unprocessed tones and natural ambience alike. While by no means virtuosic, Jesper Nyrelius’ drumming is wonderfully accented, content to play the role of the nexus without the need for histrionics. The album’s first song proper, “By Virtue of a Promise”, even presents us with a beautifully expressive, melodic guitar solo after the halfway mark, recalling the deft musicianship that made Sweven such a gem.

Tortured as ever are Andersson’s vocals, akin to a depressive Martin van Drunen performance, intent on terrifying not, but on imparting a sense of melancholia. However, intention and reality can often be worlds apart, as is tragically the case here. Perhaps all the talk of Sweven’s novelty compelled the mind behind The Eternal Resonance to get carried away with everything that set the former apart from its peers. Everything is dreamier, more nebulous and spaced-out than before, but altogether less effectual. Though Sweven revelled in its own obscurity, at least its songs went somewhere. Here, tracks feel neither like self-contained bodies of work nor as parts of something greater, instead as structure-free approximations of songwriting. The more ethereal instrumentation simply doesn’t gel with the agonised wailing, given there are relatively few metallic parts to lend a contrast. While the clumsy black metal-esque barrages in “Visceral Blight” are an exception, for the most part, The Eternal Resonance comes off as an aimless prog album with token metal chestnuts.

Attempts at rekindling what made something prior “special” rarely come to fruition, and Robert Andersson’s debut album under the Sweven moniker is a painful reminder of that. At best, The Eternal Resonance can find its place as an introductory album to its creator’s better work, or a fix for those pining for more of the same but willing to settle for less. Hell, it doesn’t make for bad background music, perhaps as a study soundtrack for those who aren’t averse to false chord bawling, but I doubt it. At worst, it simply pales in comparison to its ancestor and, as if to add insult to injury, may foster the idea that 2014’s Sweven was a fluke.




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user ratings (128)
3.6
great
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Robert Garland STAFF (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Pon
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


5183 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Apologies to dearest Nocte



Birb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-DhbcPnvU0

parksungjoon
April 3rd 2020


38421 Comments


Frig

Digging: Slint - Tweez

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


15270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ah, that explains a bit of wonton contrib forum activity.



At least your first sentence sums up my thoughts on that album exactly.



Everything is dreamier, more nebulous and spaced-out than before, but altogether less effectual.




Hard disagree, hence the disparity between our ratings. Easy mind pos.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


5183 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dunno what goes on in the contrib forums unless they're arranging a coup



Cheers Noct and Park

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


15270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Mostly shit talk, we must drive Jom mad with half the shit we jibber on about. We do have a shrine we pray to with portraits of staff writers who haven't in a while...guess we can take your poni pic down now.

el_newg
April 3rd 2020


1379 Comments


great review as expected from you
still yet to check the album :|

Pon
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


5183 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers Lloyd bro glad you're still around < 3

parksungjoon
April 3rd 2020


38421 Comments


ok actually reading now

parksungjoon
April 3rd 2020


38421 Comments


damn i wish i could write this gud


curious now how much ill like this

nightbringer
April 3rd 2020


2269 Comments


This album art is so good that I really want to like this.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


9276 Comments


Ace review summary, have yet to listen to this.

Digging: RuYYn - RYYn

osmark86
April 3rd 2020


10865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very good review Jac. I disagree hard with your rating, but the review is on point.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


5183 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers Park, Voivod and Osmark < 3 Really wanted to like this but what can ya do?

osmark86
April 3rd 2020


10865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sometimes things just don't click I suppose. to me this is just more of the awesomeness on the Sweven album and I love it.

Archelirion
April 3rd 2020


6428 Comments


Excellent, concise write-up poneski. I've not heard this yet, but I'll definitely get to it. Perhaps.

parksungjoon
April 3rd 2020


38421 Comments


perhapst'd've

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
April 3rd 2020


12881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great writing my man, the third para especially. Things really do feel like they're rather detached from structure here, which is all well and good if those wanderings are enjoyable, but they felt very airy to me.



This grew off on repeated listens and I'm not really feeling the urge to return.



Summary is a laugh, too.

Thalassic
April 3rd 2020


5285 Comments


Summary cracked me up yeah
Nice work

brainmelter
April 3rd 2020


7595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rip

Digging: Flaming Ouroboros - Uphold the Majesty

bigguytoo9
April 3rd 2020


1149 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not digging this much at all.



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