It seems to me that Swedish black metal has slowly been carving a new post-Marduk/Dissection niche for itself in recent years. Bands like Woods of Infinity, Shining and Lifelover are all playing demented black metal/pop with lots of samples and an emphasis on creating a sick atmosphere. The lyrical content also channels a different type of adolescency than the ”SATAN OPEN THE GATES!” themes of their 20th century predecessors, dealing more with urban misery and perversion but retaining the dislike of good taste and judgement. While Shining rather undeservedly seems to get the most attention and Umeå’s Woods of Infinity — the most talented of the trio — just make me feel physically ill (more on that some other time), I enjoy the sort of evil pop hits that Lifelover has produced lately. As is the nature of pop music, their albums tend to be a mix of filler material and great songs that stick to your mind immediately (only to inevitably fade though, leaving you with a feeling of what-was-the-fuss-about-in-the-first-place). Their new album Konkurs is due within just a few days, which they will promote by playing live in Stockholm this Sunday. Also, some of their better songs, including M/S Salmonella and Mental Central Dialog are available for free from their webpage.