» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Hydra Head

Rating: 5/10 ?

May 17, 2007
"Döende", the first track of Bergravens latest album, Dödsvisioner, scared the living daylight out of me. The song starts almost inaudibly with wind, a ghostly choir, and other gloomy sounds; it is a struggle to hear anything at all. But the subtlety is a ruse, a carrot to facilitate turning the volume up, at which point guitars and drums storm the gates without warning, accompanied by a guttural scream. Compounding my shudder, I listened to it on a windy, rainy night, with candles lit. Sitting in a crypt. On a pile of human bones. Chewing on a rat. OK, that last thing was a lie - I was chewing some gum.

A Swedish "band" centered around guitarist and vocalist Pär, Bergraven plays an interesting version of black metal that has a very ambient feel to it. Sure, the music is hard as, well metal, but it has very soft edges of the spookier kind. The lyrics are in Swedish, and Pär's vocals are very rough and coarse, which contrasts nicely with the music's above-mentioned ambient undertones.

The band's name is a play on words; in Swedish the word is a mix of the words "mountain" and "buried,"and Dödsvisioner is a collection of appropriately dark, weighty and atmospheric songs. The tracks bear titles like "Döende" (dying), "Ondkall" (another wordplay combining the two words for "evil" and "cold"), and "Ekot av Bikt" (echoes of confession), and they all propagate an uncomfortable and angst ridden air. So far all is good.

Dödsvisioner lacks in one area, though, and that is in its production and possibly, to a lesser extent, its composition. The whole album sounds like a demo and is ultimately a bit too unorganized; when a path is found, it's just as quickly abandoned. This lack of direction makes Dödsvisioner difficult to enjoy, even in the face of its many other good qualities.

A band, and a record, cannot live on atmosphere, mystique, and cool song titles alone. Good production values are crucial, and I hope that in the future Bergraven finds a good producer to sort out the loose ends. Were Pär to fully realize his potential, Bergraven could be truly, deeply scary.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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