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Svartsinn - Mørkets Variabler (2017) - Review

Band: Svartsinn
Album title: Mørkets Variabler
Release date: 31 October 2017
Label: Cyclic Law

01. And In This Cloak Of Darkness I Cast My Shadow Short (Ghost Boy)
02. Doubt As Sin (Nietzsce’s Lament)
03. Echoes Of Silent Cries (Among The Sea Of Trees)
04. In The Wake Of Azathoth (A Lovecraftian Epilogue)
05. Yearning Part 2 (Å Kjenne På Ensomheten)
06. Where No Other Can Follow (Demon Stalker)
07. Vemod (Cello Mix)

While the dark ambient as a genre has expanded so very much in the last couple of years and new acts germinate like mushrooms after the rain, there are some names in this genre that bring shivers to every fan of this specific style. Norwegian act Svartsinn is absolutely one of those. Svartsinn is a brainchild of the artist Jan Roger Pettersen, who has released his first demo named Devouring Conciousness back in 1999, later re-released in 2002 by Eibon Records. Since then Svartsinn released three full-length albums for Cyclic Law and is without any doubt one of the most influential acts inside the genre and one of those responsible for making dark ambient as we know it today. Now, eight long years after his previous album, Elegies For The End, and after some appearances on various compilations and the split with Northaunt, The Borrowed World, Svartsinn returns with a grand opus named Mørkets Variabler, which translates in English as Variables Of Darkness, and that's what we get here, seven different tracks which dwell in the most deep darkness you could imagine.

We all know Svartsinn like one of those acts that created some of the most dark soundscapes ever heard and Mørkets Variabler not that just follows this path, it's even making everything more audacious. With this album and its seven tracks that clocks in a bit more than one hour, we get immersed into so very dense and haunting atmosphere that rare other artists can compose. On this album Jan Roger Pettersen is accompanied on some tracks by Norwegian musician Amund Ulvestad on cello, and this collaboration adds some new distinguishable elements to Svartsinn’s ominous drones. It's not that difficult to be taken away into the abyss of darkness with this sounds, it's more difficult to come back from where this lucid transfigural musical form can push you.

Expect no light here, because every single track works out as a journey through the specific form of darkness. Two of the tracks, the rather psychotic "Doubt As Sin (Nietzsce's Lament)" and the grisly cinematic extremely dark "In The Wake Of Azathoth (A Lovecraftian Epilogue)", touch themes of philosopy and horror literature to a certain extent and with the power of sound try to visualize what was inside the mind of these two great minds. Subtle voices and sounds from the otherworld penetrate the listeners mind in such a malicius way. I was seduced by the melancholic vibe of "Yearning Part 2 (Å Kjenne På Ensomheten)", and the strong deafening melancoly plus some subtle industrial patterns in the otherwise very cold "Echoes Of Silent Cries (Among The Sea Of Trees)", certainly add a very unique listening experience to this epic track. The cinematic bewitching "Where No Other Can Follow (Demon Stalker)", is purely demonic and one of the darkest sonic adventures I've ever heard in my life. One of the reasons to get this album is also the fantastic last track, "Vemod (Cello Mix)", which is a reworked version of one of Svartsinn's most recognizable tracks, originally taken from his previous album, Elegies For The End.

Actually every single piece and every single small part on Mørkets Variabler is done with a lot of precaution to offer to the listener a very unique sonic experience. Memorable atmospheric work with long darkened drones, subtle droneing cello, well inserted field recordings, industrial sequences, some voices from the unknown, and yet much more, forms a quite dynamic dark integrity of many shapes and forms to give us an audible expression of how darkness could be heard. With these new pieces created by Svartsinn we are plunged into this vast and singular subject named darkness, we are left to our senses to explore its subtle meanings and impressions left within ourselves. Mørkets Variabler is a monumental album, one of the best releases ever put out by the mighty label Cyclic Law, and with this album Svartsinn only testifys why he became one of the most important names inside the dark ambient scene and shows us what really dark ambient is all about.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10