Review

SVARTSYN In Death

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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4/5 ·
Kev Rowland
Here we have the follow-up to 2013’s, ‘Black Testament’, and is again basically a solo album with Hellhammer providing drums, and Ornias everything else. Ornias has of course been there since the very beginning back in 1991 when the band was known as Chalice, and he has been through a few different line-ups since then. Here we have black metal in its truest sense – no hammer house of horror keyboards or ambient rubbish to be found, what we have are a wall of riffing guitars, bass right behind it, drums punishing them all, and a singer trapped in a dungeon of pain.

Musically this moves from mid-paced to fast and sinister tempos, featuring a dynamic melodic range injected into an overall feeling of obscurity and brutality. What makes this album work so well is the variety between the songs, as well as within them as well. Hellhammer knows when to keep it brutal and also when to turn it up a notch or ten and blast the double bass drums as if he is in a grindcore outfit instead of black metal. Ornias hearkens back to the classic times of Mayhem, Darkthrone and Emperor, blasting it out as if the last twenty years never happened. If you want to listen to black metalthat is rightly reclaiming its place at the feast, and is relevant, dramatic and crunchingly powerful then look no further.
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