Lifelover are quite a remarkable band with an unorthodox take on black metal. This was convincingly demonstrated on Konkurs (2008). Now these Swedes are back with a new album, entitled Sjukdom. This can be loosely translated as disease or illness in Swedish. Let’s see what this album is all about.
Their unorthodox approach to black metal becomes immediately clear with the first tones of Svart Gall. The musical basis is still black metal, but it also features lots of gothic styled piano parts in the best The Cure and Joy Division tradition. Expendera and Doften Av Tomhet follow the same pattern. Nekvaknande and Horans Hora have a twisted Paradise Lost feel about them, while Bitterljuv Kakafoni and Utrdrag are basically minimalistic soundscapes with spoken word parts fusing them together.
This is the massive scope in which Sjukdom dwells. The vocal performance by Kim Carlsson is something you either totally love or ferociously hate. He seems to live in a parallel universe with his psychotic screams, whispers and growls. At some points the vocals and the music are completely separated from each other. Hate it or love it, it does mirror the twisted and completely mental nature of this album. The use of film fragments adds to the madness.
Sound wise the album has a dirty yet relatively clear production, which fits fits the music very well.
There’s a thin line between genius and sheer madness. Sjukdom by Lifelover is walking that thin line. I still haven’t made my mind up whether I should like this record or not. One thing I do know for certain though: it doesn’t get any weirder than this.
Written by Raymond Westland