STRIBORG - EMBITTERED DARKNESS/ISLES DE MORTS - SOUTHERN LORD
To call the guitar tone on this album “blurry” as the band’s biography does is to be gracious, generous and indeed unkind to all blurry guitar sounds out there. What passes here as the guitar sound is akin the sound of flies buzzing around a week-old fruit. Production values being non-existent the attention necessarily turns to the songs, which is soon determined to have a value analogous to the production. In other words, real songs are nowhere to be found.
There has been a rash of underground black metal releases with wicked vocals, lo-fi sound and black and white design out on the market in the last couple of years, but nary a one has been as blatantly crap as this embittered anti-value for money. The band has apparently included an old demo, called Isles De Morts, as a 'bonus' on this disc, yet determining the transition between the recordings is impossible. The band deserves 20 points for amusement value and how (at least) it skips the usual K&F trend, but on every level Striborg is comatose unfortunately. - Ali “The Metallian”
STRIBORG - AUTUMNAL MELANCHOLY - DISPLEASED
There are several paradoxes intrinsic to Striborg. The band is based out of Tasmania, but has an album describing 'autumn.' The main man is named Sin Nanna, which is a Sumerian name, but the band hails from the other end of the world. The biography, and I quote, notes that there will be “no contact. No interviews,” but of course the band has a MySpace page - really pathetic this one. Of course, the “Aussie black metal band” spends most time in ambient mode.
Hypocrisies aside, Striborg’s Autumnal Melancholy is droning, noisy, grrrim and dark tormented music from hell. Focusing little on riffing or instrumentation, the man in charge puts all his attention towards achieving the desired atmosphere. The use of creepy keyboard and sci-fiesque synthesizers notes especially on the second part of this disc are more pronounced, while the clicky drum sound is only partly compensated by the downright wicked screams that must have emanated from the larynx of a bewitched crow. None of these descriptions are an exaggeration perhaps. One just wishes the boy band had skipped the stupidity of having a MySpace page. - Anna Tergel
STRIBORG - THE FOREBODING SILENCE - DISPLEASED
Ambient black metal is what this is mainly known as, but lo-fi noise is also another possible description. Sin Nanna continues to churn out release after release and long minutes after long minutes of torment. It is always going to be difficult to associate such Burzum-esque music and imagery, provided with the CD, with Australia. Neither do titles like Lonely Walk In A Desolate Cold Pine Forest and My Journey Through Hills And Paddocks. The Foreboding Silence presents 11 songs which are actually five songs interspersed in between two intros, three 'intervals' and an outro. The movie sample type intervals do not necessarily go along with the agonized vocals, sporadic raw riffs and overall ambience either. As Sin Nanna himself one must surely be in another state of mind to be able to appreciate Striborg. - Anna Tergel
STRIBORG - BLACK DESOLATE WINTER DEPRESSIVE HIBERNATION - DISPLEASED
There is nearly everything wrong with this release. Firstly, and it has been pointed out before, the whole concept of this act is ridiculous. Secondly, at Metallian Towers, we are firm believers in not squeezing every last cent out of every last release. Nevertheless, in a good or bad way, one knows there is something special afoot when the intro is over five minutes long and one representative song is over thirty! Labels, bands, managers and other miscellaneous capitalists should really let the underground remain just that. The disc’s title is so long because it is actually comprised of two releases. The first three tracks were one demo, while the rest of the disc is a re-release of another CD. Most pertinently to this album, the contents are genuinely bad. Past the obligatory rattling and humming production 'value,' Black Desolate... is not much else. The triggered drum rides shotgun next to a buzz that the band presumably wants the listener to perceive as... guitars!? The hollow haunted vocals are brutal to the extreme, but sadly generate even less power and more hot air than a corporate blowjob giver politician. The synthesized ingredients, of course, add to the mess that is this soundtrack to the glorified mosquito-in-flight.
In short, if this is what The Evil Lurking In The Woods sounds like then one can be secure in the knowledge of the forests’ harmless backdrop. The Languor that is Striborg is acute. - Ali “The Metallian”
STRIBORG - IN THE HEART OF THE RAINFOREST MISANTHROPIC ISOLATION - DISPLEASED
By my count, this CD is the fourth time Striborg’s In The Heart Of The Rainforest and the Misanthropic Isolation demos get released. The band’s only man Sin Nanna is hopefully getting value for his recordings here and financing his mortgage at this point, but what about the hapless buyer who has to suffer through these dated recording complete with distortion from the depths of fizz compendium? Of course, Mr Nanna still cannot get the picture of the rainforest right to save his life - each re-release comes with a slightly different title and cover - but the bigger issue is the abysmal 'quality' of this mess. And a mess it is. The guitar sounds like a mosquito on death row. The vocals alternately sound like a choking frog or someone’s grandfather snoring shallowly behind a wall and the drum, well, let’s get real. There is a surprising bass sound on the album however. As mentioned famously about this act, static noise is a main element, but on Nocturnal Transparent Rainbow the production seems to deliberately add fuzz for an even messier sound. Could it be? Is this an anthropological experiment by the Republican National Committee on the thresholds of voluntary and self-inflicted mass victimization by masochistic Southerners? And, pray tell us, isn’t 'misanthropic isolation' ironic to begin with?
The band’s biography insists that no interview or contact is allowed. Too bad for many a dame would have loved to contact the mug shot on the back for romantic encounters. Never mind, the incessant demands by The Globe And Mail and the Guardian newspapers for myopic interviews. Even odder then that this icon to seclusion and misanthropy maintains a Myspace page. How kvlt. - Ali “The Metallian”
ABIGORUM/STRIBORG – SPECTRAL SHADOWS – GRIMM
This is a tough one to rate. Abigorum on its own would have merit, but taken on average with the zero or ten mark awarded to Striborg 30 is more than sufficient. Past visually appealing logos and an intriguing cover artwork we have five tracks with Abigorum contributing four and Striborg pitching in with one, which clocks in at 33 minutes!
Abigorum is clearly electronic in nature too, but the deep vocals and brutality harbour some appeal for the extreme metal and ambient fanatic. The drum machines are artificial and annoying however, but this in essence is a solo act. Abigorum’s fourth track is called Striborgum and, given the reference in the title, leans electronic/noise.
Spktr by Striborg is as useless and annoying as that, er, act has ever output. In fact, Striborg must be the most obnoxious band currently making a killing on the poseur youth circuit. Someone walked in on me listening to the track and completely believed me when I said ‘the CD player is broken and gone haywire.’ It is a collection of annoying digital beeps and belches that could be described as the soundtrack of the original Tron mixed with the sounds from Pong mixed into one and played backwards. Now play this back on a broken record player that is on an endless loop and… nah enough about this crap. It is weak, powerless, boring and clearly has as much to do with metal as Donald Trump’s brain has to do with logic or understanding. – Ali “The Metallian”
SATANATH/STRIBORG - PRISONERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM - GRIMMDISTRIBUTION
TThis is a split release of the two one-man band projects. Satanath is the work of Alexey Korolyov of the label of the same name (and others including GrimmDistribution). Striborg is the Australian Russell Menzies aka Sin Nanna. Prisoners Of The Solar System is five songs of the former and six of the latter at nearly 80 minutes. In this split the two are indulging their talents into creating dark, ambient, (post) apocalyptic and horror themes using synthesizer sounds and effects and little else. Some may call Satanath's part in this darksynth as the listener is immersed into the sounds that have no beginning or end and the songs meld into another. Striborg takes a more electronic, even New Wave approach. Titles like Interdimensional Transcendence allude to the theme and the voices interspersed in the songs provide a dark feeling. The sounds or music do speed up as in The Burden Of Existence but it is all dominated by the darker and electronic sounds. The CD ends with its shortest track and a pseudo title track called We Are All Prisoners. – Anna Tergel