By Brian Krasman
SORGELDOM’s second album “Inner Receivings” is one of those that, try as you might, is practically impossible to explain to someone. Yeah, the Swedish trio plays black metal, basically, but that’s kind of selling them short. They actually delve into different styles of black metal, from expansive, atmospheric stretching to harsh, desolate displays that can resemble XASTHUR with a cleaner production method.
The above description would seem to be enough. But it’s not. SORGELDOM also can switch into prog death mode in the vein of OPETH, practice shoegazing, lunge into classic speed metal, and even take you right into classic goth and New Wave that probably would sound OK coming from a club’s speakers on one of those ’80s throwback nights. And it all feels organic and convincing, with the band never reaching for something they are not. All of this is why “Inner Receivings” (out on Nordvis Produktion, with North American distribution by Relapse) is such an interesting and repeatedly rewarding album.
Following their impressive 2009 debut “Innerlig Förmörkelse,” this band that originally was conceived as an all-acoustic project before it morphed into what it is today shows a stunning level of maturation on this sophomore disc. The vocals, delivered by Dr. Sunden (he’s a professional doctor; you don’t remember seeing him), shift from English to the band’s native tongue, and show diversity in their depiction of emotions, from throat gushing screams to soulful croon. SORGELDOM give you a crash course of everything you can expect on lengthy opener “I Kloaken Lättar Vi Ankar” before trudging into psychological bleakness on “The Cold Empty Void”; a bait and switch of speed and classic rock noodling on “Dårskapens Karneval”; and a brainy death dissertation on “I Vantan Pa Telefonsamtalet.”
Eyes really get jerked open on the band’s fairly honest, yet slightly uptempo take on Slowdive’s “Summer Day” and on “Drömmarnas Galax,” a song that you could, gulp, dance to. It helps if you have a pasty-faced, black-glad guy or girl with sad eyes to accompany you. There’s just so much happening on “Inner Receivings” that you’ll probably need many listens to hear everything. Melodies reveal themselves, emotional crescendos rise, and intricacies that hid behind a curtain the first few visits finally proclaim their existence. SORGELDOM always makes your exploration pay dividends, which is good because you know you’re going to be back soon.