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Album Review

Why did this album come out on November 7, 2006? It should have been in the bins a month earlier, because it makes a great Halloween soundtrack. Under the alter ego Svarte Greiner, Deaf Center's Erik K. Skodvin has taken the less-lit path. Knive is a dark, disquieting, suspense-filled affair. No thundering drums, no hair-rising screams, no cheap effects; only two handfuls of simple sound sources, used with a fantastic flair for theatrical moods. In "Easy on the Bones" we are treated to a cemetery scene, with a disembodied female voice singing a wordless lament, accompanied by handsaw sounds — and little more except vinyl surface noise for good measure. In "Ocean Out of Wood," a double bass line leads a sorrowful way through creaking sounds (bow on wood) and foghorns (sinister cellos), all vividly evoking a ghost ship. Those are only two of the most obvious, pictorial pieces. Knive also contains more abstract compositions, like the ten-minute "The Black Dress," but even in those the atmosphere remains similar, if not as bluntly evocative. Ghostly wails, trembling organ, and the grainy and antiquated surface noise of vinyl are almost everywhere, but the double bass and cello are the instruments that tie the whole album together. They are used melodically, rhythmically (great percussive use in "The Dining Table") and texturally throughout. The record label has tried to push Knive as an acoustic version of Sunn 0))) or a different take on Bohren & der Club of Gore, but it does not have that "doomy" feel. It is better approached as a mood-setting stroll-through-the-cemetery-under-a-full-moon album. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Svarte Greiner ("Black Branches") was the nom de scène of one Erik K. Skodvin, founder of the Miasmah label, who also recorded as half of Deaf Center. While his work in that shadowy duo had a lush, cinematic feel somewhat akin to Angelo Badalamenti's film scores for David Lynch, his solo offerings came from a much darker place. On these albums, indefinable organic sounds merge with deep drones, creaks, and scrapes drawn from the strings of cello and guitar, producing a dark, disturbing atmosphere...
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Knive, Svarte Greiner
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