Striborg is a Black Metal outfit based in Australia that has been around for 10 years and is centered on one man who goes by the name of Sin Nanna. Southern Lord Recordings brings us this latest effort from Striborg which is split into 2 sections. The first section is a batch of new recordings which go under the name of Nefaria while the 2nd half A Tragic Journey Towards The Light is actually an older demo consisting of 9 songs.
Nefaria has all the elements of being a true Black Metal classic, from the music itself to the incredibly dark and desolate lyrics which capture the feelings of isolation misanthropy perfectly. Sin Nanna's vocals are delivered in a distinct raspy manner but unfortunately for the vast majority of the songs, the lyrics are unintelligible thus dulling the impact a bit of some really excellent lyrics. The music, especially the drumming is very effective with a heavy emphasis on speed, multiple fills and an open high hat approach and coupled with a lot of white noise style guitar makes for an absolutely punishing combination. Not all of the tracks on Nefaria are in this vein however as he includes a few electronic elements into his ambient and minimalist sounding instrumentals to add to the overall feelings of blackness.
While Nefaria generally succeeds the second half of the disc A Tragic Journey Towards The Light doesn't fair quite as well. The main reason for this is it's sub standard audio quality which is not surprising considering it's demo quality but it leaves me wondering why it was included here and perhaps not issued separately. That being said not all is lost as there are more than a few highlights and even a few surprises thrown in that are worthy of mention. These early tracks are for the most part delivered in fast and furious manner and while the guitars are extremely trebly and the vocals awash in reverb, it still comes across as an admirable display of vulgar aggression. A few instrumental tracks once again employ the ambient method namely the appropriately titled "Haunted Forest" while the title track and the two part "Drowned in Black Beauty" are moodier yet simplistic acoustic numbers. Everything clocks in at almost 80 minutes which may be hard to digest all at once but I definitely think Striborg has delivered a more than acceptable collection of BM worthy of your hard earned dollars.
2) Permafrost Forest
3) Somnambulistic Nightmares
6) Bleeding Black Tears of Hate
7) Black Apparitional Void
8) Intro/The Hordes of Darkness
9) Beyond The Shadow of Silence
10) One With The Night
11) Drowned in Black Beauty
12) Alone in Darkness
13) A Tragic Journey Towards The Light
14) Palace in The Heart of The Forest
15) Haunted Forest
16) Drowned in Black Beauty II