Lifelover - Official Website


Sweden Country of Origin: Sweden

1. Svart Galla
2. Led By Misfortune
3. Expandera
4. Homicidal Tendencies
5. Resignation
6. Doften Av Tomhet
7. Totus Anctus
8. Horans Hora
9. Bitterljuv Kakofoni
10. Becksvart Frustration
11. Nedvaknande
12. Instrumental Asylum
13. Utdrag
14. Karma

Review by TheOneNeverSeen on February 4, 2024.

Lifelover's last release is among my favorites by the band. It has a satisfying despondent sound, multiple interesting experiments and is overall consistent, containing no weak songs. So, it is both good and bad the band's story ended here (good because it's always better to have a cool album as the band's last record and bad because who knows what else they could've released if it wasn't for B's death).

"Sjukdom" features every single beloved element of Lifelover's music – creepy audio samples, clean guitars, desperate vocals, cool-sounding Swedish song titles and lyrics and an immensely atmospheric artwork. One element is developed better than ever before, though, it being the keyboards. It is my impression that they are used much more frequently than on the other albums and most of the time very solid melodies are produced. The piano passage of the first track, "Svart galla", for example, is an essential and the best part of the song, without which it wouldn't be nearly as remarkable. The keyboards of "Expandera" and "Doften av tomhet" are also brilliant and, again, it's hard to imagine those songs without them. Even when the keyboards don't play a huge part in the melody (like on "Horans hora" or "Totus Anctus"), they still fit it and never feel redundant, so B did a fantastic job in improving the already awesome and unique Lifelover style.

Kim's vocals are impeccable as always. I would say he used "growling" vocals more than on the band's other albums, most notably on "Totus Anctus" and "Horans hora". Aside from that, nothing to be said about his performance, most people would agree he is among the best DSBM vocalists (if not the best one).

The album's emotions, as always, vary from sadness and melancholy ("Nedvaknande", "Instrumental Asylum") to anger ("Led by Misfortune" and, as the title suggests, "Becksvart frustration") and pure insanity ("Bitterljuv kakofoni", "Karma"). There are mood shifts within songs, too. A perfect example of that would be "Totus Anctus" which starts with a bouncy danceable riff to then descend into a sinister interlude with an atmospheric sample of Kim talking, come back to the madness, return to a calmer mood with Kim's vocals intensifying over time and finally wither in a dark instrumental ending. A brilliant song structure, keeping the listener engaged and never becoming boring or predictable. My favorite song, "Svart galla", is also inconsistent in that sense, for it somehow incorporates anger, despondency and fear in its structure, with all parts of it being enjoyable and remarkable.

So, "Sjukdom" is a diverse release featuring excellent melodies, all shades of despair and hopelessness possible and classic Lifelover tools every fan will appreciate. A DSBM masterpiece that will always be remembered.

Rating: 9 out of 10