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Reviews: SAT196

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Today we’re premiering a song named “Mysterious Semblance Of Spectral Trees“.


This nearly 20-minute-long composition proceeds in stages, which collectively breed an atmosphere of mystery, peril, and chilling gloom. It’s both mesmerizing and deeply unsettling; like a mind-altering drug, it has psychoactive properties; and if you don’t like the idea of being transported to a damp, cold, midnight forest in which you sense gleaming eyes and sharpened teeth in the shadows, you probably shouldn’t listen to this.


In its opening minutes, Striborg begins with reverberating spectral tones and adds layers over its spooky refrain — a caustic shroud of hissing sound, the pulse of a bass, a slow and stately drum rhythm, a voice emitting ghastly sounds of agony.


When the bass and drum shift gears into a more accelerated pace and the voice becomes more hostile, swirls of eerie, alien melody emerge through the hammering and the hiss, and when the hammering drive ceases, the music grows even more deeply forlorn in its feeling, thanks to a slow repeating riff and the reemergence of those ghostly tones from the opening. Feelings of derangement and lengthening shadows rise up as deep, spine-shivering bass-level electronic tones begin to cycle and as the rhythm section becomes more animated again, but less predictable in their progressions.


There is a kind of warmth in the tone and activity of the bass during the song (in which nothing else rises above freezing temperatures), and the tonality and changing patterns in the drumming are part of what prevents the listener from drifting away before such a long, evil song reaches its conclusion.




This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Striborg  which  is  also  in  the  ambient  style  of  black  metal  and  the  album  was  originally  released  in  2004  and  called  "Mysterious  Semblamce"  with  the  re-issue  being  released  in  2018  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath  Records  and  Death  Portal  Studio.


  Ambient  style  synths  and  drones  start  off  the  album  which  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.


  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  tremolo   picking  riffs  giving  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well  as  most  of  the  drum  beats  being  programmed  and  as  the  album  progresses  an  ambient  instrumental  is  added  onto  the  recording  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  on  the  following  tracks  and  at  times  the  music  gets  very  depressive  and  there  are  also  3  bonus  tracks  that  where  not  included  on  the  original.


  On  this  recording  Striborg  took  a  very  raw  style  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  a  great  amount  of  dark  ambient  and  drone  elements  to  create  an  album  that  was  very  different  for  its  time,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  raw  and  lo-fi  while  the  lyrics  cover  nights,  misanthropy,  forests,  death  and  depression  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Striborg  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  ambient  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.




Tal como "Spiritual Catharsis", este "Mysterious Semblance" foi lançado em 2004 e ambos sofrem honras de reedição pela editora Satanath Records. Tal como dissemos na análise que poderão ler nesta mesma página, esta banda tem uma capacidade única para fazer e, sobretudo, lançar música sem filtro. O que alguns chamam ensaios, jams, experiências, Striborg chama de álbum, split. Neste caso temos um efeito bem conseguido em termos de ambient - provavelmente superior ao "Spiritual Catharsis" - mas por outro lado temos um som péssimo que nos parece o zumbido dos geradores de emergência quando a luz falha. Tudo bastante fraco e capaz de levar qualquer mortal ao mais profundo dos sonos. E supostamente este é um dos trabalhos "bons" de Striborg.





The old Black Metal cult has infected the whole world in the last 20 years, including far away places like Australia, Brazil and South Africa. So, holding an album in your hands from one of the busiest bands from Down Under, STRIBORG, should no longer surprise. STRIBORG's music is raw atmospheric Black Metal which due to the main instrument, the keyboard, is not seldom given the impression to listen to a forgotten BURZUM release! Sin-Nanna, the only band member, is rejecting any kind of contact and interviews so his sole expression is his music and honestly speaking "Mysterious Semblance" is not a classic release but a step forward compared with STRIBORG's 2005 album "Trepidation ". The 9 tracks are offering misanthropic Black Metal which easily extend the 15 minutes limit, so the overall length of nearly 80 should not surprise. The sound is extremely underground but Sin-Nanna is concentrating on the creation of a pure misanthropic atmosphere and this time the guitar and drum section is supporting this (a major point which unfortunately couldn't be resurrected on their next release "Trepidation"!). To make a long story short, if you are interested in STRIBORG's creations try "Mysterious Semblance", because the next winter is nearby!




Atmosphere, this album has plenty of it. Synths pave the way, first as an intro and then as the beginning of the first song, so when the guitars hit, there's a feeling of dichotomy between the synths and the treebly strings with the former feeling quite spacious and the latter flat. So when the keyboards back out it's hard not to notice. And what's also not hard to notice is that the guitars kind of serve as a backdrop for the synth lines and drums with both being more up front which is not automatically a bad thing, especially when they are comprised of, well, quality stuff. The synths not only sound creepy but the lines don't sound typical, meaning they don't consist of chords, played on keys, but actually drive the songs forward. And if you're going for this kind of mystic / mysterious vibe they fit like a glove. Seriously, the ability of this music to transport the listener to some place, whatever that may be, cannot be denied. Much of that is owed to the synths. Now for the drums. No virtuoso playing here but only slight touches that break the motonomy, one of the traps of abundant repetition. But what that does is it pulls you in – the synths lure you, but it feels it's the drums that grab you. And with raspy yet atypical vocals in conspiracy with the guitar buzz – riffs would probably be quite impossible to discern if the tempos would be much faster – you get a sum that feels very much like a thing that is hard to compare to something else. Sure, this kind of low fidelity Black Metal may be in trend right now, but STRIBORG's been doing it for so long that it'd be unjustifiable to label the man behind it as a trend hopper. What else cannot be denied? The length. But it works, because the music takes its time - the riffs aren't really numerous and the drums keep it varied, so your mind can really settle when going through the album. Plus this is not the kind of music that you go fishing for riffs or killer drum fills in but a more spiritual affair where you just let go. Summa summarum, expect repetition, synth lines that'll stay with you for days, build ups via drums, vispy vocals and… bass? No idea if it's there.




The Australian band Striborg released two record Spiritual Catharsis and Mysterious Semblance 14 years ago. Both records have that in common that the distribution was poor, and they both contained more than 1 hour with music. Now both record is re-issued released. Sin Nanna is the only musician in Striborg and he therefore take care of all the instruments and vocals. The music is black metal with much ambient style synths and drones.




Striborg also deliver a music with many heavier elements, and obvious epic tracks are preferred. Tracks where Sin Nanna can scream in a grim way and with a descent amount of blast beats. Both records have a nice mixture of slow, medium paced and fast parts with riff that evoke a raw sound together with the programmed drum. The music is by intention very depressive and ambient. There are tracks added to both the re-issue that originally was not there.





Two weeks ago, I posted a review on the re-release of the Striborg recording Spiritual Catharsis, originally released in 2004 and now re-issued by a partnership of Satanath Records and Death Portal Studio (see: http://www.concreteweb.be/reviews/striborg). So, I am not going to write a new full introduction on this Tasmanian one-man horde, but I’d like to refer to that recently published article.


Both labels took also care of another older Striborg album, Mysterious Semblance. It was initially released on tape via Sweden’s defunct Black Metal label Total Holocaust Records in 2004, and re-released a couple of times afterwards (e.g. via Displeased Records, cf. higher-mentioned Spiritual Catharsis, and Sin Nanna’s Finsternis Productions, which did the original release of that aforementioned full-length). This re-issue comes, like that other one, in so-called ‘vinyl-style’, with a sober twelve-page booklet and some song lyrics, in both English and Russian (!). Availability: 500 copies.


Those who know the stylistic approach of Striborg will know what I am talking about if I mention words like ‘Doom’, ‘Black’, ‘Ambient’ and ‘Space’. Reason: Striborg perform Ambient Space Doom Black Metal. Indeed, it’s that simple… Sin Nanna however created one of his masterpieces by means of Mysterious Semblance, I think. It is a very – and with ‘very’ I mean ‘very’! – bleak, cold and minimal form of Black Metal with an extremely grim atmosphere, a very slow performance, lots of injections from Dark Ambient (beautiful versus mesmerizing), and a frenzy ‘underground’ production. When talking about the latter, well, I am sure the sound quality will repel some. This stuff is totally under-produced, with a minimal mix and a rough, somewhat hollow sound and background noise. In all honesty I need to mention this. But at the other hand, that unpolished sound-approach sort of fits, for it strengthens the occult and mysterious atmosphere that covers this album. Most pisses, sorry, pieces are blackened, with extremely rough and buzzing, little melodic guitar lines, pounding bass lines far away, simplistic yet pushing and thundering drum patterns, and those incredibly strange and suffocating, sort of ‘hollow’ sounding blackened voices. This material is not of the renewing kind, but it does pay tribute to the essence of what purity must stand for within the underground scene. Some other tracks (or excerpts from the Black Metal compositions) stand for a hypnotic, mystic and transcendental, even ritual form of Dark Ambient Music. And then you have the sublime mixture of all those details and aspects: fast-paced and morbid passages, esoteric and levitating intermezzi, molochian injections, floaty and dreamy ambient passages and desolate soundscapes, doom-laden parts and mid-tempo excerpts, and so much more. The result is a coherent journey that permanently surprises, twists and challenges.


Anyway, in case you did not owe this piece of sh*t, I can surely recommend this creation of conceptual geniality. I did have the first compact disc edition, but this was an opportunity to go through this a couple of times again, and it reminded me of the joy I experienced each time when I listened to this stuff before. Black Aural Magic!





Hace escasos dos meses reseñábamos aquel “Mysterious Semblance” del tasmaniano Russell Menzies (Sin Nanna es su nombre artístico), y ahora nos toca dar cuenta de “Spiritual catharsis”, lanzado originalmente lanzado en 2004 y hoy remasterizado por el sello Satanath.

Y como era de esperarse, Striborg conserva su distintivo estilo de metal negro, trve y lo-fi, ambiental y casi gótico, claramente inspirado en los bosques húmedos y frescos de su estado natal.

El álbum es un compendio de repetitivos riffs de guitarra, voces alienígenas de sonido con mucha reverberación y distorsión, percusiones  de trance y ritmos y pasajes de sintetizadores. Notablemente, las guitarras de fondo son poco más que un zumbido constante, y terminan llevando la música a niveles muy rítmicos e hipnóticos.

Un detalle que no podemos pasar por alto es la excesiva duración del álbum, lo cual en estos tiempos puede llegar a ser hasta molesto.

En síntesis, si lo tuyo es el black metal más ortodoxo y crudo, siniestro y oscuro, Striborg tiene tu próxima compra.