This is another re-release of a demo-compilation from STRIBORG, courtesy of the prolific Displeased Records. Both these demos were recorded in 2005, when Sin Nanna had already carved himself a niche for himself in the Black Metal swamps.
The first demo, "Black Desolate Winter", is quite an ambitious piece, the title track alone clocking in at more than 30 minutes. To keep the listeners' attention for such a long time-span requires a strong mastery of variation and interesting segments, and none of those are qualities that first spring to mind when STRIBORG is mentioned. However, the track feels strangely hypnotic in it's eerie monotony, and as such isn't completely worthless if you have the patience to sit through it.
The second half of the album, "Depressive Hibernation", sits comfortably in the raw Black Metal pits STRIBORG-listeners are so familiar with. The production is as harsh around the edges as always, and it's a full-on sonic assault containing more ferocity than usual, which is a nice change of pace after the 30-minutes of pure atmosphere. The vocals are distorted and ludicrous in their insanity, but they serve their purpose in this hostile environment of sound. However, the title-track drags on too long at 14 minutes, with some sleep-inducing repetition and as charmingly shitty drumming as always, making me look at the clock a few too many times.
In the end, this is not a horrible release, but nowhere near STRIBORG at his best. There is a lot of raw energy here, and it can compete with most low-fi Black Metal projects, but it lacks the essence that is so vital to the greatest STRIBORG-albums.
(Online December 20, 2008)