"Sbrodj" is the debut EP release by Swedish experimental/avant garde metal act Karaboudjan. It´s a three track EP released in 2001 with a total playing time of 18:59 minutes. Karaboudjan is yet another project by prolific Swedish musician and producer Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Unicorn, Bloodbath, Pan.Thy.Monium...etc.).
The music on "Sbrodj" is unmistakably the sound of Dan Swanö but it´s definitely one of his more eccentric projects (Read: Weird). The three tracks "Plan 714 Till Sydney (Flight 714 to Sydney)", "Den Svarta Ön (The Black Island)" and "Den Mystiska Stjärnan (The Mysterious Star)" which all share translated Swedish titles with three Tintin comics by the famous Belgian comic book artist Hergé (the name Karaboudjan is the name of a ship in the Tintin comic with the original name "Le Crabe aux pinces d'or"), are all more or less melodic avant garde metal/ rock. Even though there are no death metal riffing or growling vocals on "Sbrodj" it´s still Pan.Thy.Monium that the music on this EP reminds me the most about. The sudden outburst of saxophone in "Den Svarta Ön" is a quite obvious reference but the overall avant garde/experimental approach to music is also something Karaboudjan have in common with Pan.Thy.Monium. Besides some really melodic and memorable synth lines in the songs that at times remind me of Nightingale there is one dominant feature that is present throughout the album and that´s the distinct fuzzy sounding distorted bass (it might be guitar but it sounds like bass to me). There are no vocals on the album but there are some samples from the Swedish translation of the Tintin movies that appear a couple of times. The unconventional song structures need a mention too. This is not your regular vers/chorus structured songs but rather an innovative and unusual approach to songwriting. It doesn´t always seem cohesive but it´s certainly interesting. There is one flaw on the album that I have to mention and that´s the last couple of minutes of "Den Mystiska Stjärnan" which to my ears are just senseless noise. It´s plain annoying and makes me wonder why?
The production is a treat. A well produced EP this one.
I suspect that the "Sbrodj" EP by Karaboudjan is a one-shot project by Dan Swanö since there hasn´t been a sound from the act since 2001. That might turn out to be the right decision by Dan Swanö because as interesting this EP is, I´m not completely sure that I would enjoy a full-length album in this style as much as I enjoy "Sbrodj". This is an interesting and unique experiment though and I´m sure fans of Dan Swanö will find it an interesting listen. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.