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Earlier I’ve reviewed Svartsyn’s split with Arckanum, which I absolutely loved; and this is no different.
The atmosphere surrounding this album is extremely cold, and the sound is full and thick, yet bleak and chilling. The riffing builds up an aura of what has been, but adds intricacy and a modern twist. With the guitar leads hovering on top of the bass, while the drums pound and the vocals roar, this is one majestic album. Now don’t get me wrong, some might mistake “majestic” for symphonic, and that’s surely not the case here. It’s stripped down black metal to its core, but with a dark and majestic atmosphere. The grim, haunting vocals spits out contempt and terror in the form of spiteful and satanic lyrics. The main tempo is really fast-forward, but there’s plenty of room for slow and more churning parts. But no matter the tempo, the guitars ooze of malevolence, and the sound is just really magnificent.
The musicianship and song-writing show a real maturing in Svartsyn’s sound, and at the same time as this is stripped down it has a load of complexity and diversity. They have managed to do what so many other band’s fail at; giving the hateful and simplistic old school a re-vamped sound with a modern agenda, but without stepping away from its core.
Originally written for www.mylastchapter.net
Nowadays, anyone who listens to the bands that once represented the pillars of the Black Metal movement and scene will suppose the latter to be dead. The examples are too numerous to be mentioned here. SVARTSYN have been around since almost the beginning and they have proven that there are bands who still believe in the BM cause and refuse to make any concessions when it comes to what their music sounds like. Better even, they have perfected the concept channeled on "Destruction of Man" and taken it further in intricacy, thus creating songs that will raise many a blacker's heart-rate. The proof of this is the band's latest release, "TIMELESS REIGN", which came out less than 3 weeks ago.
I find it positive that many BM bands have their own myspace page, not because I cannot see the stupidity behind some people's behaviour on that site, but because one can receive actual news about albums. As a consequence, I was able to hear 2 songs from "TIMELESS REIGN" and knew immediately I wanted to have it. And so I bought it and have been listening to it for days upon end. At first, I thought it was simply the logical direction to take after "Destruction of Man" (2003) ("Bloodline", which came out in 2005, was just a re-release of the 1998 one). But the more I listened to it, the more layers in the songwriting I discovered. And therein lies the improvement on "TIMELESS REIGN", since the songs have been composed using a higher dosage of musicianship than ever before. Now I don't want to dwell on the positives forever. I'm sure I will get disagreements here, but the sound has become slightly too clean to my taste. Just like The Abyss studio was the favorite of quite a few bands in the 1990's, Necromorbus has gained a dominant status today. I guess I can say that the sound on "TIMELESS REIGN" is the kind one would expect out of Necromorbus Studios. Is that negative? Well, not totally, but it does create a "deja-vu" effect in the audio experience.
So here we have it. The facts about SVARTSYN's latest album. It might not have the most original sound around, but in a world where bands sell out to sell more records, "TIMELESS REIGN" confirms the fact that the past is indeed alive!