Srodek – Förfall

If you ever wondered how Burzum sounded like if crossed with some gothic music in the vein of Bauhaus or Fields Of The Nephilim then the first real theme “Bleak” from Srodek’s second album “Förfall” could be a pretty reliable illustration. It blends that minimal and anguished black-metal of the Norse act with some gothic melancholy a la Bauhaus, a direction that is stretched out through the entire album.
Srodek is essential a one-man project conceived by Swedish-based Jon Bäcklund (or Necrofucker, as he goes by here) and although the core of his compositions might have some ties with black-metal, the outcome sounds pretty harmless and inoffensive. It may sound like a contradiction of terms, but “Förfall” is almost jolly at times, Bäcklund fully forsakes the raw and vile traits of the style in favour of bleak and tender guitar harmonies and a heavy dose of melancholy. The only caustic element of Srodek’s compositions is really the vocals, which are rasped and anguished and I guess that is not enough to charm even the softest heart among black-metal legions.
Ultimately, “Förfall” is not a bad album per se, but I think Srodek’s glaring lack of vigour and variation is what makes this record such an unmoving and forgettable experience. (4.5/10)

Alex Grimm

Label info:
For fans of: Lifelover, Svarti Loghin