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Morbus Chron SwevenSweven is the second album from the four piece Swedish prog-metal band .  Though they tout themselves as a death metal band, Sweven is a lot more progressive than death. The opening song on Sweven, Berceuse is a slow, meandering jazz-influenced piece without vocals that is sort of an odd start for an album; it feels more like a last song. The next track, Chains, and the rest of the album picks up the pace though, and completely makes up for it. The band’s sound is very similar to Mastodon in its bass heavy, dark and groovy riffs. Though there is definitely an extreme metal flavor sprinkled throughout, it leans much more toward a depressive black metal sound than a death metal sound. A song like Beyond Life’s Sealed Abode, for example, starts with a jazzy, Mastodon-like groove, then about four minutes into the song it slows down and wanders into atmospheric black metal.  Aurora in the Offering is one exception, with a faster tempo than most of the other songs–it has an almost thrashy feel and definitely reminds the listener that this is supposed to be a death metal album. Another thing that stays true to extreme metal is the fact that all of the vocals are growled/howled in the vein of Black Funeral. The song structure and length however is definitively progressive metal, with the longest song being over seven minutes with random changes and no hooky choruses. There is certainly talent in the musicianship which is the real draw with progressive metal since it’s not exactly the catchy tune that is going to draw the listener in.  Sweven is definitely worth a listen if progressive metal is a genre one admires, and it will be interesting to see the next turn ‘s music takes.

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