Sunken – Livslede

Band: Sunken
Album: Livslede
Label: Vendetta Records
Release date: 18 September 2020
Country: Denmark
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Promo

SUNKEN throws you into a desolate, melancholic, soul-searching pool, that you don’t want to leave. Transporting you on an introspective expedition through their nature related, organic, atmospheres. Pictures of powerful mountain ranges, storm drenched seas, and haunting forests enter my mind upon listening to their sophomore album “Livslede” which was released on September 18, 2020. The band’s theme in this album is discovery of self, through the demon heavy emotions of anxiety, self-punishment and despondency. You also need to give their first album “Departure”, from 2017, a thorough listening. This is where the band lets you know first, that they are a powerhouse of Danish, atmospheric black metal.

It’s very difficult for me to describe the absolute emotion that I have found in the vocals of lead singer, Martin Skyum Thomasen. He brings a raw, tortured quality, that touches on that melancholy we feel at different times. A loss of something, but also a rising of the unquenchable need to surpass where we were and to also walk forward from that. Simon Skotte Krogh, Kasper Deichmann and Jonas Faghtmann all combine their excellence in guitar playing, emoting words and feeling in their riffs; depicting heights reached and the lowest of lows. Their skill set for this strong, interpersonal journey of an album, hits all the right notes. The drummer, Jakob Ridder mentioned here in last place, is nowhere near the last. His energies drive the album, creating that heartbeat that continually feeds the mood and theme of “Livslede”.

Intro entitled “Forlist” is a brief, poignant piano opening with an atmospheric nature soundscape. The utter melancholy in this is beautiful. Sad with the sound of water in the background. “Ensomhed” (Loneliness is the english meaning) is next, with more atmosphere, slow guitar riffs and nature blending in and enriching this track. Soon the riffs hit harder, drums are heavy and urging to keep building the emotions. Martin’s vocals in this are so raw, a feeling of hopelessness emitted, also a rage against unchangeable circumstances and the lyrics evidence the feeling of the inevitability of loneliness. Third track is “Foragt” (contempt is the English meaning) opens with a raw extended growl, capturing more of that sense of frustration and depression. The riffs in this are forceful and angry. You listen and silently rage along with the piercing vocals of Martin. Just a beautiful track of masterful black metal.

“Delirium” is fourth track, an instrumental. A lulling, rhymthic, beat. In my opinion, this song is like an interlude piece. Towards the end, the energies of black metal guitar riffs cut in and add that needed layer of sound to this track. Vocals are a voice over style, spoken. Lastly, “Dodslaengsel” blasts open with more of the layered black metal variation of sound. The track has stellar vocals, with beautiful atmospheric touches. Drums are energizing, giving the song more. The melancholy is strong in this last track.

I can speak for the forlorn black metal, vocals, intense atmospheric pauses, skillful guitar and drum accompaniment, and nature having been a huge part of this album. This band does it successfully, leaving the listener moved by their efforts and wanting more. I give a 9/10. Metal Marie

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9/10 : Epic Storm!
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