Striborg are a solo project from Australia that h as been featured before in this zine and on this recording played more of an ambient style of black metal and this is a review of his 2007 album "Ghostwoodlands" which will b e re-issued on October 25,2021 as a joint effort between Rude Awakening, Satanath and The End Of Time Records.
Ambient style synths and soundscapes start off the album and also mix in with the heavier sections of the music at times. When the music speeds up a great amount of tremolo picking and blast beats can be heard which also gives the songs more of a raw feeling and the album also brings in more of a lo-fi atmosphere.
Throughout the recording you can also hear a decent mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts while some of the tracks are also very long and epic in length. Vocals are mostly grim sounding black metal screams along with some melodies also being added into the guitar riffing as well as all of the musical instruments also having a very powerful sound to them.
Drones are also added into some parts of the recording and some of the tracks are also instrumentals and as the album progresses a brief use of clean playing can also be heard. The production sounds very dark, raw and lo-fi while the lyrics cover night, misanthropy, forests, depression and death themes.
In my opinion this was another great sounding recording form Striborg and if you are a fan of ambient black metal, you should check out this re-issue.
Australian band Striborg first released the album "Ghostwoodlands" back in 2007, and the album was subsequently reissued in 2021. The music on this production falls in under the extreme metal category, but the album is actually divided into two separate and very different types of music. The longer songs cater for the metal aspects, with twisted growl, buzzing guitars and hammering rhythms, all of which comes across as recordings made with limited equipment and a limited budget with everything sounding lo-fi, thin, tinny and recorded from a distance. Recordings lo-fi to the extent that they come across as arguably even not of regular demo quality, which will limit the appeal of that material to those with a passionate interest in what is often described as raw and honest recordings. The other type of music explored here are dark, ambient material with an unnerving, horror inspiring quality that often will make me as a listener come with associations to various supernatural happenings. Creepy and disturbing material, and recorded with a much higher quality than the metal cuts on this album. Very much a production with two different sides to it in terms of both recording quality and stylistic expression. Due to this striking Janus aspect of the album, this production is one that warrants a pre-check. Those with an interest in haunting ambient soundscapes will find that part of the album intriguing though, and those with a deep and passionate interest in raw, lo-fi and honest extreme metal recordings should find plenty of that to enjoy here.
Today’s review is of Australian former Black Metal band Striborg’s album “Ghostwoodlands”, celebrating its recent rerelease.
This album is an offering of raw and cathartic Black Metal with atmospheric elements that mesmerise through distorted riffs of malice. Between the long and monotonous, almost obsessive, songs there are some Dark Ambient interludes that add a lot of ghostly darkness to the full-length, also hinting the band’s upcoming schism from Metal into electronic territories.
Most melodies are almost completely concealed behind the wall of fuzz, but this wall has been crafted in a certain way that only makes them more interesting and despairing. Although there are a few songs of more than 10 minutes, the whole release seems pretty dynamic and it never really gets boring. This sonic journey through slow and almost intangible sonorities grasps the ghastly essence of the genre in an ideal way. My personal highlights are the title track and “Wandering”.
I recommend this album to fans of Raw Black Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal.
On Ghostwoodlands, the tracks that adhere to black metal proper are rather raw, almost demo quality despite drums being fairly loud and rehearsal tape level of clear in the mix. The ambient tracks are all droning keyboards with bells and chimes ringing, as if someone swapped them for one of those world music discs of Tibetan Buddhist monk singing bowls and suchlike. “Sinister” actually comes off like an outtake from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack, so as opposed to the usual throwaway “ambient” nonsense you get on so many black metal (and death metal) releases, these actually bear more interest than you may expect.