Last year Tribulation blew minds with The Formulas of Death. This year, fellow Swedes Morbus Chron are all grown up---the average age is 27.5---from 2011's Sleepers in the Rift effort. By aging a few years, refining their craft, and spreading respective wings, the Stockholmites have created a record so immersive, so penetrating, and so tuned into the things that made early '90s death metal incredible---think of what Tiamat were doing, really---that it's bound to be on Best Of lists when 2014 winds to a close a few long-ass months from now. If you heard the incredible EP, A Saunter Through The Shroud, and liked where Morbus Chron were headed, then Sweven is sure to be right through your earholes. Meaning something like 'dream' or 'vision' the album title, Sweven musically follows suit. Like a dream or a vision, it's never really clear where the fronts and ends are, with movements and motifs blending, blurring, and mixing as if they don't make sense, but ultimately, after a few listens, do. Here are a few titles to sweeten the pot: "Aurora in the Offing", "Beyond Life's Sealed Abode" and, our favorite, "Berceuse" (because we had to look it up). Additionally, take look at the artwork. In your head put music to that. Death metal music. Yeah, killer.
Recorded by ex-Dismember drummer Fred Estby, Sweven is in line with current production trends in Sweden. It's heavy, but fuzzy around the edges. The drums and bass have power but don't feel computerized or fabricated by software. The riffs of Robert Andersson and Edvin Aftonfalk are also rightly recorded. Estby captures rare and inspired performances the likes of which haven't been caught on "tape" since Åkerfeldt and Lindgren and Einarsson and Johnsson were captured in similar moments in the mid-'90s.
Alright, we've swooned on Sweven long enough. Now, it's your turn. May we so humbly present, "The Perennial Link".
Let us know in the comments if you're equally moved and excited for Morbus Chron!
** Morbus Chron's stunning new album, Sweven, is out March 4th on Century Media Records. It's available HERE in CD/Vinyl/T-Shirt configurations. What are you waiting for? Only the best record of the year, really.