SWEVEN — The Eternal Resonance

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SWEVEN - The Eternal Resonance cover
4.24 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2020

Filed under Progressive Metal


1. The Spark (3:07)
2. By Virtue of a Promise (9:20)
3. Reduced to an Ember (7:30)
4. The Sole Importance (8:03)
5. Mycelia (7:37)
6. Solemn Retreat (9:42)
7. Visceral Blight (6:35)
8. Sanctum Sanctorum (8:33)

Total Time 1:00:27


- Jesper Nyrelius / Drums
- Robert Andersson / Guitars, Vocals
- Isak Koskinen Rosemarin / Guitars

About this release

Release date: March 20th, 2020
Format: CD
Label: Ván Records
Catalog ID: van296

Release date: March 20th, 2020
Format: 2 12" vinyls (33⅓ RPM)
Label: Ván Records
Catalog ID: van296v

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"The Eternal Resonance" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish progressive death/black metal act Sweven. The album was released through Ván Records in March 2020. Sweven was formed in early 2020 by former Morbus Chron lead vocalist/guitarist Robert Andersson. Morbus Chron split-up in 2015 after releasing an EP and two full-length studio albums. The last studio album was titled "Sweven (2014)", which is obviously where Andersson picked the name for his new project. Before forming Sweven, Andersson and his former Morbus Chron bandmate Edvin Aftonfalk both performed live with Entombed, and Andersson even appears as a guest vocalist on the legendary Swedes "Clandestine" live album from 2017.

Playing with Entombed hasn´t rubbed much off on Andersson though and the music style on Sweven is more a continuation of the progressive death/black metal sound of the "Sweven (2014)" album by Morbus Chron. The death metal elements have been scaled back though and the progressive elements and atmosphere are more in focus but Andersson´s vocals are still snarling/growling, so because of the vocal style this is still death/black metal in some respect, but not much else on the album point in that direction. While the material on "The Eternal Resonance" are generally much more progressive and challenging, an act like fellow countrymen Tribulation have some similar features in their music.

"The Eternal Resonance" is an intriguing release and it´s an album deserving more than one spin, before forming an opinion about it. There is a lot to absorb but it´s not complex like some of the more inaccessible progressive releases can sometimes be. It´s a dark and atmospheric release, and it´s generally very dynamic with both mellow sections and more heavy and death/black metal influenced sections. The album is packed in a dark and organic sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. The hour long album is an adventurous journey through abstract landscapes and gloomy lights, and it´s actually a bit hard to describe exactly how it sounds. My best try would be a dynamic, dark, and atmospheric type of metal with snarling/shouting death/blackened vocals presented in progressive song structures. Labelling/describing the music aside, it´s a high quality release with a unique sound and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
A few years ago there was a Swedish death metal band called Morbus Chron and their second album was called Sweven (2014). It was a gem combining death metal with retro progressive rock and psychedelic music, something that had been heard in black metal based acts like Hail Spirit Noir and Oranssi Pazuzu, but was still a rare element for metal to use (outside of the more obligatory stoner metal genre of course). It was the kind of album that showed its band off as something unusual and special. But then Morbus Chron disbanded in 2015. But now they're back, well, at least frontman Robert Andersson is and since his new project is also called Sweven you know that the new band is going to be more or less a continuation of where Morbus Chron left off. The Eternal Resonance (2020) is the group's debut album.

Sweven's The Eternal Resonance is not a mere rehash of their namesake album, but all the same elements are there: death metal, prog and psychedelic rock. While Robert Andersson brings a growling vocal style to the music it often feels like a bit of stretch to call this a death metal record. The instrumental work transcends death metal far too much to even pigeon-hole as progressive death metal; instead it falls more into the category of extreme progressive metal, a term often reserved for big names like the Opeth of old and Ihsahn and few others. And even that doesn't completely describe Sweven's sound, because there's just far too much retro progressive rock and psych in here as well to say its merely 'just' one thing. It's an album sitting on a bridge between two worlds, not torn between them, but in harmony.

The big difference in how the elements are balanced between The Eternal Resonance and the namesake album Sweven is that Morbus Chron used the psych influences a lot more than Sweven the band do here, but those are still an integral part of the new album's sound and it wouldn't be quite as special without them. Though if there is a fault here then it's that I really would have liked to hear the psychedelic element a bit more like in the previous band. Psychedelic metal is such an untapped well of potential that few bands seem willing to embrace, and fewer still the fans that seem to be able to recognise it, such as seems to have happened with this year's Hail Spirit Noir album Eden in Reverse, which to my knowledge could well be the first true psychedelic metal album that isn't stoner or extreme metal based. It's a shame that Sweven dialled this back on The Eternal Resonance, but they still make a really excellent record that has a rather unique sound, so I can't complain too much about that.

I find The Eternal Resonance to be one of 2020's finest debut metal records. Creating a unique sound in 2020 is no easy feat and while Sweven do lift a lot from their frontman's previous outfit one can hardly cast blame on the man for continuing to peruse a musical vision that produces an album this good. I can only imagine that Sweven will go on to impress even more if this is what they serve as the appetizer. Let's hope though that they make more albums than Morbus Chron did.

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