Evig Natt

Darkland

Written by: PP on 19/04/2010 22:05:50

When it comes to gothic metal, Scandinavians have always been a more successful in convincing me with their sound than their five thousand central European peers, any of whom can be exchanged with one another and the difference in sound is minimal. Norway's Evig Natt, whose lineup includes ex-Enslaved drummer Harald Revehim, attempt to continue that trend with their sophomore album "Darkland", where they choose a slightly more exploratory approach on gothic metal than many others. Throughout the record, I'm hearing not just the typical female-fronted high pitch vocals of Kirsten Jørgensen, but also a number of other sounds and influences varying from black metal to symphonic metal, even melodeath in places.

That's a good starting point, because the last thing anyone wants to hear in 2010 is yet another goth metal band copying the other five million such bands out there. So when Evig Natt start by firing out some tremolo shredding at me, supplementing it with more typical black metal elements like the high-pitch shriek and drum patterns from the genre, and add some atmospheric symphonies on the background as well, I'm semi-impressed. This is a band that wants to at least try to distinguish themselves from the others, which is an extremely positive thing in a genre where innovation is mostly an alien word. The melodeath-style melodic growl by Ruben Osnes, for instance, gives a nice contrast to Jørgensen's generic gothic metal singing. That's why throughout the record I'm just waiting for Jørgensen to shut the hell up so we get into the much more interesting vocal sections. It sounds awfully harsh, I know, but whenever Evig Natt descend into generic gothic metal platform - which they do ALL too often - they sound like everyone else in the genre. Because whenever speed is kicked up a notch, the drums go mental blast-beat mode, and tremolo shredding begins, I feel like I've just been awoken from a dream where nothing at all is happening for extended periods of time.

What I'm trying to say is that while "Darkland" is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to gothic metal, it still suffers from way too many clichés and quiet sections that have been placed there solely to give some space for Jørgensen's voice, which, while decent, is a far cry from the best singers in the genre. Overall, the music is not that bad, but it's not terribly interesting either, because for every awesome part, there's an equally forgettable part, which leaves me no choice but to render this record only slightly above average in the genre.

6

Download: Evig Natt
For the fans of: Gothic metal with a small degree of experimentation
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.04.2010
Black Bards

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