May 21, 2021 Svarta Sanningar – Kapitel 2 (EP Review)
Swedish occult Post-Rock and Gothic Metal agents Svarta Sanningar are back with the follow-up to 2018’s Kapitel 1 EP. Aptly-entitled the Kapitel 2 EP, their latest arrived on Friday, May 21, 2021 thanks to a mysterious fog over the island of Fjärrö.
In English, we might call them “Black Truths,” though in any language Svarta Sanningar is a most secretive order, one composed of doomsday contractors, misunderstood scientists, and occultists. In order to preach the truth about the forces of darkness that surround us, they have chosen the most dangerous form of art available: Hard Rock music. Led by Klas Bohlin (vocals) and Håkan Carlsson (drums) of Beseech, along with fellow do-gooders Jonas Persson (guitar) and Mattias Lejon (bass), theirs is a mysterious tale of black-listed pharmaceutical manufacturers, post-apocalyptic strategies, parapsychology, and necromancy, all beginning in November 1977, just outside of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Agents of Truth, Svarta Sanningar has recently published their second dossier, the aforementioned Kapitel 2 EP, or, if you prefer, Chapter 2. Here, they turn the very first page as Persson’s guitar sings a lament. This is “Kemisk Reinkarnation,” which offers a negative view of the supposed salvation served to us in pharmaceutical form. With Lejon’s thick bass echoing Bohlin’s beguiling vocals, there’s a deadly seduction to this scientific concoction. But the spell is ultimately broken, and we find ourselves trapped within the whirling dervish of “Preparatet.” At nearly nine minutes in length, it would be hard to boil the track down to a simple word or phrase; instead, it’s a story unto itself, one that contains notes of nostalgia and Classic Rock feels within its melodic awakening ritual.
Of course, Svarta Sanningar’s cryptic poetry is an ongoing case that must be carefully investigated by its aural detectives. Each of the four entries herein offers a piece of the conspiracy thriller that is Kapitel 2, though it feels like “Ett Ockult Hospital” holds especially important clues. Its lush, boldy thick texture draws us into the blackness, where asbestos paint flakes off the crumbling walls. A beautifully haunting, ballad-esque offering, it writes its message in blood scrawled across the fading architecture of madness.
And so it is that with their black truths pulsating across the airwaves the Swedes author their final entry, “Den Sista Sprutan.” A syringe full of languid frustration, it reflects on our case study— an individual who has blindly chased power and trends, selling their soul for personal gain. While the concept is specific to the band’s ongoing story, it has a much greater application in our dog eat dog world.
Understanding that we are not all fluent in Swedish and might require some research to uncover the lyrics for Kapitel 2, there’s still an obvious accessibility to Svarta Sanningar’s catchy choruses, one that transcends language. Wholly dedicated to detailing their fictional (or is it?) tale of occult conspiracy and apocalyptic doom, the quartet is careful to feed us just enough to continually whet our palates for their peculiar brand of Gothic Rock. And while one might initially assume that a four song EP is barely a tease, Kapitel 2 offers nearly 30 minutes of epic musicianship and storytelling. It’s a lot to unpack but well worth the time spent, and this is why Cryptic Rock gives Svarta Sanningar’s latest 5 of 5 stars.