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'VII: Född Förlorare'
(Metal Storm)

Jools Green

jools green

shining vii

The album opens with, 'Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel' (Despair, My Inheritance) the best track, also released as a single and one that will haunt you forever, setting the pace and intentions of the rest of the album.

'Tiden Läker Inga Sår' (time heals no wounds) begins with a beautiful acoustic opening with clean vocals. It cleverly switches throughout between aggressive growls with catchy riffs and reflective melodic vocals accompanied by acoustic segments.

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There is a real 'Blackened' feel to 'Människa O'Avskyvärda Människa' a tale of disgust and despair. It is centrally showcased by an 'old school' guitar solo that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and encourage an air guitar solo.

Biting guitar riffs combined with aggressive vocal growls sums up 'Tillsammans Är Vi Allt' (Together We Are Everything), not a tale of romance but a love/hate relationship with self-abuse.

'I Nattens Timma' (The Hours Of The Night) is a cover of a song by Swedish progressive rock band Landberk. An easier pace than the other tracks of the album but it has been given the Shining treatment and serves as a beautiful showcase for Kvarforth's clean vocals.

The final track, the sinister and haunting 'KKK', a story of self-disgust and loathing, is another beautiful amalgam of haunting clean and sinister growls intermingled with some 'old school' progressive rock keyboards and it brings the album to a conclusion.

The whole album is excellent - no track skipping needed with this one - and is progressive depressive Black Metal at its best with a clever balance of catchy black 'n roll riffs, haunting piano and acoustic interludes. Weave into this Niklas Kvarforth's magnificent vocals, ranging the full spectrum of powerful growls to clean vocals, this combination makes for a rich musical tapestry.

All songs are sung in Swedish, adding intrigue, but the album's message is clear from the emotion expressed in the vocals. The cleverly crafted concept of the album is also Kvarforth's brainchild. The other main contributors to the album are Fredric Gråby and Peter Huss, both on guitar duties.

The overriding theme of the album, despair, self-hate and death flowing ceaselessly through every track is a winning combination.

Would I recommend it? Indeed I would!! In fact I would go as far as to say it is one of my favourite albums of the year so far, constantly calling me back to listen again and again.



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