So Much For Nothing ‎– Livsgnist -LP


Suffering of the soul accompanies man from the beginning. Manifesting itself as a deep unhappiness, it inspires poets since antiquity. All epochs know artistic movements that draw their inspiration from this affliction and black metal is part of the story. Drawing its strength from the darkest areas of the human psyche, this music expresses a violent pain felt by the mind, an elusive phenomenon common to all peoples.

Dark metal musicians generally illustrate depression by a barrage of distortion, coupled with a voice of a skinned alive. This approach is intended primarily to reproduce the indescribable chaos whirling in the minds of those afflicted. Artistically limited, this approach tends to change, thanks to innovative bands that renew their sources of inspiration. The Swedes of Shining are acting as pioneers, with their unique blend of metal and rock, but they were practically the only band to play this way. Not anymore.

It's from Norway that we receive the next thing of this emerging style. So Much For Nothing, founded by Erik Unsgaard, is an unclassifiable group, located at the borders of several apparently incompatible musical genres. Its leader has a lot of experience, working for many years in the corridors of black metal from the land of fjords. But Livsgnist (2012) ("spark of life"), its first album, has little to do with the classics of the 1990s, since so often plagiarized.

The first notes of Suicide Syndrome set the tone: an adagio, completed with a howling saxophone, which gives this part a sinister aspect. The voice, torn or heavy (a bit like Attila Csihar) is completing the mechanism and creates a stifling atmosphere, with only a guitar solo for drilling. The atmosphere becomes more aggressive with One Last Night, where we perceive a desperate and barely contained urgency. But these are the two following songs that lead us to the pinnacle. Perfect forces us to feel a caustic irony, emitted by a decaying mind. Musically similar to some tunes of Rammstein, this song is the catchiest of the album. We change registry with Suffer in Silence and its classical introduction. A string duet begins a descent into the abyss. With the participation of Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), this song expresses extreme pain, manifested by complex orchestration, crossing the acoustic guitar and sounds of wailing women. A moment of pure negative emotion. My Precious unfolds with a tortured opening and a heavy rhythm, while the title track revolves around a rock theme and a choking voice. Concluding the album, New Life - New Beginning immediately surprises by the assertive use of the trumpet, which gives an unexpected edge to a metal song. Completing the loop, the author lets us go with a guitar solo that fades into silence.

We get with Livsgnist further evidence of creative potential caused by the suffering of the soul. This album allows us to admire the work of an artist who manages to transcend several musical genres in order to remove unique sounds. All this effort underscores the compositional talent of a group that is promised, I hope, to a bright future.