Yesterday we spread the news that on April 21st of this year Satanath Records (Russia) and Death Portal Studio (U.S.) will release a new, remastered edition of Spiritual Catharsis, the 2004 album by the Tasmanian black metal/ambient project Striborg. But that’s not the only Striborg album that these labels are re-issuing.
On April 22nd, Satanath and Death Portal will also be releasing a special edition of Striborg’s Mysterious Semblance. That album was also first released in 2004, on tape by Total Holocaust Records, and a CD version with bonus tracks was presented the following year by Finsternis Productions. This new release has again been remastered and features new artwork, and today we’re premiering a song from it named “Mysterious Semblance Of Spectral Trees“.
This nearly 20-minute-long composition proceeds in stages, which collectively breed an atmosphere of mystery, peril, and chilling gloom. It’s both mesmerizing and deeply unsettling; like a mind-altering drug, it has psychoactive properties; and if you don’t like the idea of being transported to a damp, cold, midnight forest in which you sense gleaming eyes and sharpened teeth in the shadows, you probably shouldn’t listen to this.
In its opening minutes, Striborg begins with reverberating spectral tones and adds layers over its spooky refrain — a caustic shroud of hissing sound, the pulse of a bass, a slow and stately drum rhythm, a voice emitting ghastly sounds of agony.
When the bass and drum shift gears into a more accelerated pace and the voice becomes more hostile, swirls of eerie, alien melody emerge through the hammering and the hiss, and when the hammering drive ceases, the music grows even more deeply forlorn in its feeling, thanks to a slow repeating riff and the reemergence of those ghostly tones from the opening. Feelings of derangement and lengthening shadows rise up as deep, spine-shivering bass-level electronic tones begin to cycle and as the rhythm section becomes more animated again, but less predictable in their progressions.
There is a kind of warmth in the tone and activity of the bass during the song (in which nothing else rises above freezing temperatures), and the tonality and changing patterns in the drumming are part of what prevents the listener from drifting away before such a long, evil song reaches its conclusion.
The new edition of Mysterious Semblance will be released in a jewel-box, vinyl-style CD with a 12-page booklet designed by Aleksey Korolyov, that includes both English lyrics and a Russian translation of them. It was remastered in 2018 by Digivision Records (Belarus) and includes exclusive artwork by Ismaelta (Forbidden Citadel Of Spirits, Scourge Of The Leper). The full album will NOT be sold digitally.
The track list and pre-order link are below, and we have also included a stream of another track from the remastered album, “Looming Black Apparition“.
01. A Sour, Pale, Ghostly Dawn
02. Mysterious Semblance Of Spectral Trees
03. Dark Storm Brooding / Lightning In The South
04. Looming Black Apparition
05. The Ghostly Pallid, Hand Of Fear
06. As Sad As A Cemetery In The Winter Darkness
07. The Screaming Winds
08. Lurking The Murky Damp Forest
Length – 78:40
Pre-order (please note: the full album will not be sold digitally):
Death Portal Studio: