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CD Feature/ Svartsinn: "Traces of Nothingness"

img  Tobias

To start your journey into the night with a quote by Jean-Paul Sartre is a dangerous game: You easily end up contradicting yourself. For Sartre was neither a kind of quixotic madman such as Nietzsche, nor a notorious sourpuss – he wasn’t so much appaled by life’s absurdness, but by the absurdness of it invariably ending in death. Then again this isn’t your regular dark ambient album either.

For it has always been Svartsinn’s philosophy, that the darkness is nothing to be afraid of, but a place where one can prosper. In stark contrast to those vampire-fetichists and glam-gothics  flocking into Hollywood movies such as “Blade” and “Underworld”, he has never envisioned it as something outside of us. Rather, darkness is something deeply embedded in human nature, a blackened spot on our soul, which our spirit yearns to return to like birds following the seasons. “Traces of Nothing” therefore easily translates into “Traces of Something”, it just depends on your point of view. And for an album which deals with slipping away, there is a remarkable amount of musical motives to hang on to: Almost every piece is centered around a harmonic progression or melodic theme, burried under piles of aluvial mud and tectonic turbulemces or flirting with screetching noises, screams and scratching surfaces. While deep-rooted bass pads lull your mind into sleep, nightmarish sound textures churn up the sensitive surface of the dreaming mind – Sigmund Freud wouldn’t be happy about “Lost in Reveries”. Still, under all of this hell-bound hemispheres lurks a profound romanticism, a sense of almost classical love for something that can not be grasped by the physical body. The eleven-minute long “Misanthropic Odyssey” starts with a painful chord-scheme, lapses into the void and then builds into a thick and threateningly physical drone, looking at you like a black hole in some far away galaxy. It can not be explained, but it doesn’t have to be either.

“Traces of Nothingness” is a multi-facetted affair and still manages to keep that continously somber mood ever-pensive characters would die for. Its ability to stray from trodden paths and yet keep a traditional purity is remarkable and most welcome for all those wo thought dark ambient to be narcistic and boringly conservative. And it decidedly does not require a degree in philosophy to enjoy it.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Svartsinn
Homepage: Cyclic Law

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