Skarva av Glas
"Black Metal Bastards"
Self Released

With USBM act Skarva av Glas, I’m not quite sure where to begin. So, I might as well open with examining the production quality, as this is a self ear-clipped black metal band. In the razor-toothed, armored dragon guarded fortress of black metal, bad production can lead to an unforgettable masterpiece. These crusty gems can sometimes goad decades of mental orgasms in darkly lit rooms, walls adorned in Celtic Frost and Dissection posters, the smell of leather, sweat and whiskey in the air, long locks flying over a window with the full moon in ambrosial view. Yet, this “basement production” is sometimes just a couple of poor people attempting to play black metal, covering up crap with tons of fuzz, gilding over a stinking pile with utter confusion. 

Track one doesn’t disappoint up front. The guitars, while terribly recorded and repetitive, aren’t that bad. Then the vocals come in and they’re simply atrocious. Yes, metal reviews are often full of words like “disgusting, dreadful, terrifying… etc.” being used to complement, but believe me, it’s not the case in this review. I’ve heard the vocals being described as “passionate” but passion does not equal good artistry, though it’s true that artists are often very passionate about their work. The track ends abruptly and continues on into more hocus-pocus. I mean, disregarding the music, the vocals evolve into a completely asinine creature that make listening to Skarva av Glas much like having Swine Flu; you cough, tear at the eyes and feel like you’re dying. I mean, Arckanum's old stuff had bad vocal production (though they were better than Helvete's), but the music was sublime.

With the third song… lunacy is a potent ingredient to this form of music, but some crazies really should stay in the old room upstairs or at some dirt-caked asylum. Lyrics like “I want you to die/you fuckin’ whore/you’re just a bitch” would be perfect for some alcohol-soaked, black/thrash “hiking metal punk,” band from the 80’s, but on “Black Metal Bastards” it just sounds clownish. In fact, these guys used to be a thrash band andactually cover “Raised on Rock” by Darkthrone. I didn’t catch it at first, because I think I blacked out a few times as a survival measure. Even if Fenriz revels in making an ass of himself, we all eat it up. I’ve craved some “F.O.A.D.” at times and giggled at a few Darkthrone interviews, but Skarva av Glas (fragments of glass in Swedish) is just too much to swallow.

Every genre has a rear end, while some are simply asses bouncing around without limbs like mathcore, nintendocore and crunkcore. I doubt many will argue that the term “raw black metal” is overused and can confuse many into thinking that just because a band plays in a “raw” style, they must be golden. Scraping off all of those tempting, shiny flakes, some of the reviews I’ve read for Skarva av Glas assuredly have people who fall into the category of substituting plain ol’ good music, for “rawness.” “Black Metal Bastards” is one of those albums that you hear, but can’t really listen to. It’ll just make you constipated if you think too much about it. Since it’s the group’s first release, they can be less depressed with their output. It’s nothing personal, but let’s hope that the next Skarva av Glas record is at least listenable. Or else, New Mexico, where the one girl, one man band hails from, might be scratched off my list of places to visit.