Both here and in his work with Deaf Center, Svarte Greiner has exhibited an ability to distil impressionistic tones and smeared ambiences from a welter of sound sources into bleak, droning compositions.
His work on Knive takes these surreal tendancies and contorts them even more. The first track, "The Boat Was My Friend", places a vaporous guitar drone behind some muted feedback experiments and fluctuating tones, strangely poised and agile, which are then joined by cello accompliament and some haunting, wordless female vocals. The piece is vivid and of an almost oppressive density, yet for all its tangled networks of distant metalic clangs, drawn-out, shadowy sonics and scraping strings, it is also rather tender. Its a trait not often associated with works that toy with themes drawn from the realms of doom metal and dark ambient, and it bears a hint of Greiner's somewhat more refined approach to these traditions, which are often marred by cheap shock tactics and a one-dimensional approach to sound.
To be sure, there is an aura of isolation embedded in these lurching sub-bass growls and sything rasps and delicate percussive sounds. Even more than this, the high-end guitar scribbles and ominous fuzzy chords do form such a mucky paste that they threaten to almost suffocate the listener, yet these qualities are never so pronounced as to marginalize the other qualities brought out in these sounds. "Ocean Out Of Wood", for instance, is made up of granular drones and vulnerable cries, augmented by low-end frequencies and an almost ritualistic plodding of malefic bass notes. The sound of the piece is certainly heavy, but the manner in which it is woven into an intricate web of sound, with certain elements coalescing, colliding and fallling away from each other, Greiner reaches beyond these aesthetic parameters, and allows one to simply take a certain pleasure in the novelty of some of these sounds. With "Ullsokk", for example, there is a fine pairing of rhythm and noise, with slimy insectile noises and slurred, detuned bass notes whirling in the background.
In this regard, Knive displays a dour atmosphere that billows around one like a storm. Perhaps even more importantly, though, there is a certain sensitivity of composition here, one that fuses its latent energy with a serene undertow. 7/10 -- Max Schaefer (11 December, 2006)