. Satanath Records

Reviews: SAT332

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This  is  a  review  of  an  earlier  recording  from  Australia's  solo  project  Striborg  which  showed  the  music  going  for  more  of  a  raw  style  of  ambient  black  metal  and  the  album w as  released  in  2009  and  called  "Southwest  Passage"  which  was  re-issued  in  2021  as  a  joint  effort  between  Satanath,  The  End  Of  Time  and  Inverted  Inhumation  Records.




  A  very  dark,  heavy  yet  lo-fi  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  all  of  the  drum  beats  are  also  programmed.




  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.  When  synths  are  utilized  they  also  bring  in  elements  of  ambient  and  drone  along  with  most  of  the  tracks  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  all  of  the  music  sticks  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction  as  well  as  the  album also  closing  with  an  instrumental.




  On  this  recording  Striborg  brought  in  more  of  a  raw  and  mid  tempo  style  of  black  metal  as  well  as  keeping  some  of  the  ambient  sounds  of  earlier  releases.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  paranormal  and  forest  themes.




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



Australian band Striborg first released the album "Southwest Passage" back in 2009, and the album was subsequently reissued in 2021. The music on this production falls in under the extreme metal category, and it is a fairly raw and honest approach to the material found here. This is also an album with something of an inconcistency in what would have been the A-side and the B-side back in the vinyl era. The opening three cuts all suffer from a subpar sound, not as detrimental as on the artist's previous album, but with something of a demo like quality remaining. Buzzing guitars, distorted vocals and what I understand is something of a trademark cold and chill atmosphere are distinct traits here, along with a distanced sound that comes from the recording process, the mix - or both. The next two cuts have a more solid feel and sound to them, with the guitars in particular gaining a richer and more vibrant sound retaining a raw and rough quality but now with an overall quality above demo quality and otherwise exploring the same tendencies as previously described but with a better overall sound. The album concludes with a cinematic soundscape that makes use of what sounds like folk music elements to create a haunting, disturbing atmosphere. As with Striborg's previous album this soundscape construction is the best sounding track on the album, and on some levels it may be argued that it is the most intriguing one as well as it does explore sounds, moods and atmospheres that clearly sets it apart from the rest of the album. Those with a passion for raw and honest extreme metal should find this an intriguing album, and with the improvement in sound quality compared to the previous Striborg album this is a production that presumably should have a somewhat broader appeal as well.




Today’s review is of Australian former Black Metal band Striborg’s album “Southwest Passage”, celebrating its recent rerelease.


This release follows the same drowning and atmospheric approach as the other releases of this era of the band, and while it may not incorporate as many ambient elements that hinted at Striborg’s future as other full-lengths like “Ghostwoodlands”, the aura of this one is just as oppressive.


The songs have a certain sense of melody imbued with a certain elegance that scorn the listener from beyond a mist of raw distortion, granting feelings of wretchedness to whoever notices them. The approach of this album also gives it an otherworldly and ghostly feeling that is well implemented into Raw Black Metal while also differencing mid-era Striborg from other acts. Although these songs have more common lengths, they are similarly cathartic to the rest of the era’s tracks. My personal highlights are the title track and “Human Extinction”.


I recommend this album to fans of Raw Black Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal.