Varjot Productions: 2006
Solgrav is first on this split CD between two as-of-yet rather unknown Finnish bands, with three tracks of which one is a re-recorded and –arranged version of a track originally released on their first demo. Solgrav’s style is hard to pigeonhole, as it’s obviously not Black Metal (a tag they’ve themselves rejected), nor does the vague term ‘Dark Metal’ feel appropriate either, any more than Pagan Metal or Heathen Metal. Solgrav lie somewhere between all those with their murky and damp sound and music that bears the scent of decaying woods. This is Metal of thick, old forest floors and ever dark groves.
Solgrav’s best moment up until now is their third demo, “Pohjola Kotimme…”. Their debut CD, “Auringon Hauta”, was something of a letdown after the outstanding third demo, and even though the three tracks on this split are perhaps marginally better than those on the debut full-length, they’re still a far cry from the third demo. The sound is better than on the debut CD, and especially the track “Kaksi Sutta” has many good ideas, but somehow things just don’t click. I can’t really say why, they just don’t. It’s like the listener would really like to love the tracks and get into them, but can’t. Therefore Solgrav’s part of the split sinks into mediocrity and uninterest.
F, formerly known as Fornjotr, fare no better. This is extremely sad, as their two previous demos have been outstanding efforts, excellent Death Metal showing vast potential. Their part of the demo is spoiled by the horrible production. The sound is completely cacophonous and chaotic… a total mess. You just can’t make anything out of it, especially during the faster sections. During the slower sections things get a little better, but not much. This alone robs all interest from the tracks, making them completely boring and unappealing.
Both bands fail to impress me completely. Solgrav managed perhaps to make a slightly better effort than I was expecting, but not much, whilst F went so far below their standards that I actually have to wonder how the band that did the excellent “Kiro” and “Arvet Auki”-demos release this kind of… well, junk. So, in conclusion: not worth it.