OK, the first cover ("Loreia") had not been the real thing, but what the Gentlemen (and Lady) of SIEBENBÜRGEN have on "Grimjaur" is almost to be categorised as optical cruelty, such an ugly, chalk-starched face fits a nihilistic, anti-melodic Nordic Black Metal-band, but not a troop as SIEBENBÜRGEN!
OK, you don't have to look at it, but you want to hear it, so let's see, what their sophomore release brings us, compared to their already good debut. Altogether I would say that there is a big minus from the very beginning on: The production. Something has apparently gone really wrong, either with the producing job itself or the "concept", because this rough and raw sound again would rather fit one of these melody-free Black Metal-combos…
Musically they have stayed true to themselves, melodic Black Metal with quite a lot of influences from traditional Metal, some Folk-melodies and variable compositions, singer Lavisa Hallstedt also is taking part again, minus the violin, but her cliché-free vocals again bring in their very own touch, which makes them differ so nicely from the pack.
Another thing that has stayed the same should be SIEBENBÜRGEN's position as Melodic Black Metal-band with the biggest double-bass-share, a fact that especially I as avowed double-bass-fan is taking as a really big plus! If I had to pick out certain songs, then it'd be "Vintervila", "För Mig...Ditt Blod Utgutet" (with nice alternating vocals and very varied structure), the powerful "Luna Luciferi" and "Ibi Cubavit Lamia", almost sounding medieval, with acoustic guitars and Lavisa's solo-vocals, before the e-guitar sets in for the first time after around four minutes, but keeping up the balladesque character of the songs.
So if you count out the sound, then you can say that SIEBENBÜRGEN have well built upon their debut "Loreia", have matured in song-writing and still are a recommendation to every fan of Melodic Black Metal with a healthy dose of traditional Metal. Just unfortunately the sound drags it down a bit…