“Knive” by Svarte Greiner
A shadowy introduction to the world of acoustic doom.
Hailing from the damp, blood-caked shores of Norway we always had an inkling that Erik K. Skodvin (better known as one half of Deaf Center) would be beckoned toward the dark side. As we all know, Norway is the most evil country in the north of Europe; they invented black metal and have a liberal government that actually works – there’s got to be something wrong. It was only a matter of time then before Skodvin felt the call of his pagan ancestors and smelted ‘Knive’, a dusty anthology of surreal and doom laden paeans to the ancient ones.
The troubled artist was set on his ashen path after a fated trip into the winding forests of rural Norway, during which he was shaken into exploring the darkest caverns of his mind to explain the bizarre forces that were making themselves known to him. He was spoken to by spiritual entities only rarely seen and set on a path of experimentation with the new influences flooding into his brain. Instead of revelling in pain and suffering though, Skodvin looked to the skewed world of the Dadaists feeling that their bug-eyed outlook would meld perfectly with his odes to the inky lords of Norwegian caliginosity, and the result is nine tracks of menacing abstraction and surreal, nauseating horror.
The album opens with ‘The Boat was my Friend’; a distorted guitar drone rings out into the atmosphere as crows bellow overhead and before you realise it a cello fades up in accompaniment and a shadowy female voice utters strange wordless chants. This is our serenade into a monochrome world where every floorboard creaks, where the sun never rises and the moon is forever full, willing evil to seep from the minds of the terminally unhinged. Before long we hear the sound of a saw ripping through that which we would prefer not to imagine on ‘Easy on the Bones’ and a gruesome character is revealed – the shocking visual aspect which so many attempt and fail dismally. When we finally reach the end, the appropriately titled ‘Final Sleep’, we are treated to the album’s most memorable moment – an operatic vocal which soars atop Angelo Badalamenti influenced organs, seeping into your veins as it winds the album to a close.
Skodvin has constructed a delirious collection of disorientating surrealism, an audio movie, re-enacting the most sadistic and most bone-chilling moments from your preferred tales of horror. Make sure all sharp implements are locked away and listen at your peril!