Boomkat Product Review:
Best known as one half of Deaf Center, Erik K. Skodvin's work as Svarte Greiner has been described as "acoustic doom" by those with a genre-delineated filing system, and his best known work 'Knive' is now made available on vinyl for the first time since its original release over a decade ago.
"11 years since it´s inception, the surreal and darkly romantic Knive still sounds like a mystery and something that´s hard to pin down. Svarte Greiner´s debut album feels like a trip into the forest at midnight, with all the sounds and impressions that comes with it. Spiritual, horrific and fragile in essence, it´s melancholic core is hard to shake off, and feels as present today as it did back then.
While starting off the sub genre of “Accoustic doom” back in 2006, it´s difficult to say what else to name it now, with it´s inspiration and elements from countless genres. The record flows through the dissonant cello´s and washed out vocals of “Ocean out of Wood” past the introverted church organs of “The Black Dress”, distorted guitars and wooden beats of “The Dining Table” to the operatic finalé of “Final Sleep”. Everything scattered with field recordings from crows, branches, walking, sleeping, rain, wind and who knows what. Knive stands on many feet, wherever they may be.
Erik K Skodvin´s path as Svarte Greiner have since been dwelling more and more into this world, picking each element apart to focus on them, stretching them out or cutting them down, looping, experimenting and flooding with reverb - trying to make time stop and night fall. But for now a re-visit to where it all started seems appropriate.
'Knive' sees Skodvin plundering a record collection evidently stacked with the likes of Earth, Badalamenti and Volcano The Bear - coming out the other side with a record that is inky black without becoming oppressive or claustrophobic. Opening with the melted-wax drones of 'The Boat Was My Friend', Svarte Greiner presents an inky arena to experience his music - as crepuscular cello and detached vocals coalesce to forge an ethereal and otherworldly aesthetic. Flecked with pathos and a genuine sense of foreboding, 'The Boat Was My Friend' signals the coming record in a dipping style which evokes images of a late night radio signals heard through a haunted woodland. Moving on from here, 'Ocean Out Of Wood' is a mealy and waterlogged affair, wherein Skodvin allows creaking percussion and pregnant chords to seep into the conscious with just the right balance of light and dark to ensure the textures never become too abrasive or oppressive. Bringing to mind a tarnished copper-rub, the likes of 'My Feet Over There', 'An Ordinary Hike' and 'The Black Dress' all inhabit a musical sphere where shadows are encouraged and light is shunned to piquant effect. Elsewhere, the stunning finale of 'Final Sleep' is heaving with operatics that scar the conscious through cavernous organs straight from Badalamenti's secret chest, 'The Dining Table' lays on a spread of syrupy percussion, whilst 'Ullsokk' allows haunting vocals to chide at the skittering rhythms beneath."