Siebenburgen – Delictum
14/11/2003 § Leave a comment
I really can’t remember what first possessed me to start listening to this band, what moment of madness or boredom, but I’m glad that I found them. Siebenburgen were around for a fair bit, creating stock, standard black metal, until they got on Napalm and got themselves a new female vocalist. That’s when things really started to change for the better.
The first thing that anyone should appreciate about Siebenburgen is the fact that they have a silly name. I couldn’t really take anyone too seriously if they said, “my favourite band is Siebenburgen”, if they didn’t say it ironically. Their name sounds too much like the noises made by the Swedish chef off The Muppets. And they wear that Kiss-esque make-up which makes them look like they’re wearing novelty Hallowe’en masks from a cheap party shop. However, in spite of that, they’ve come up with a good piece of work here, in fact, it’s very good.
The interesting thing about Delictum is it’s a bit of a dangerous thing to get hold of. Those of you who have pledged blind never to venture into the world of black metal for whatever reasons will probably find yourselves liking this more and more against your better judgement. There’s a very fine line between music like this and BnB such as Sirenia, which is pretty damn heavy anyway. It’s likely that if you’re a BnB fan, Siebenburgen could tip you over the edge into the darker side, and the chances are you’ll be grateful for it.
Siebenburgen’s previous efforts were dominated by Swedish lyrics, but Napalm obviously told them where they could stick those, and we all benefit as a result. Nevertheless, there is still one Swedish song on this album, and it’s a goodie. In fact, all the tracks here are. But what is it about this that could draw in the Gothic Metal crowd? Very simply, the inclusion of a female vocalist, and a damn good one as well. Before this album the female vocals were handled by Lavisa Hallstedt, and now the task is undertaken by Turid Waldenburg. An excellent choice indeed, because she has a sensational voice. Her singing is very pure and quite classical in its influences, and this gives the music a wonderfully haunting feel. She has no problems hitting the higher notes and slides around her vocal register with seemingly graceful ease. It really is a pleasure to listen to, and teaches you that no matter how heavy and fast the instrumentation is, it becomes just a softened backdrop against the beauty of such singing.
So in light of the fact that the female vocals are so flawless, it’s a shame they’re not on the album as much as they could be, and as a consequence the best tracks have their inclusion, namely the beautiful Storms, Opacitas, Thy Sister Thee Crimson Wed and Levande Begravd. The male vocals are also pretty flawless, perfectly competent and convincing, the production is first-rate and the musicianship is enviable. If you’re into the Gothic side, go further and take the next step, or if you’re already there, shame on you for not owning this. It should be a key feature of any black metal collection.