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It is admittedly, quite an orthodox thing to berate and insult Western Christianity now. It is acceptable amongst the modern zeitgeist. It’s a fallen branch. Whilst blasphemy, sacrilege and impiety have always been an ‘orthodoxy’ of black and death metal, it has become such a codified norm that there’s little left to scald. Though not as ‘Western’ a phenomena as Christianity, Islam becomes ever more prominent, with a veil of political correctness keeping a lot of objection held back.
Rather than coming across as something purely reactionary, Svolder have quite a well-read, literate insight into the writings, literature, history, rituals and eschatology of Islam. Added to this is a sense of ridicule and mockery that was so fitting with Grand Belial’s Key. It takes the principles and teachings and inverts them with vitriolic scorn. Titles such as ‘Deviant Rituals Of The Odious Sand Orphan’, ‘Armageddon Befalls The Ummah’ and ‘Detestable Swine Flock To The Ka’aba’ clearly explicate this. Vocals, a virulent rasp courtesy of ‘The Prophet Muhammad’ deliver such lyrics as;
“Torched is the black cube, once again
Destroyed by the infidel,
Worthless mass is crushed to pieces
Stone the Imam for his blasphemy
Befoul the Islamic property
Bring to ruins the primitive philosophy
Desolate skulls fractured
Smashed and rid of imbecility
Torment the believers – erase the prophet’s burden from history”
In musical form, Svolder can be easily compared with GBK, Arghoslent and Sacriphyx. They have a similar approach towards writing riffs, which have a similar flow and momentum. The production and high end treble-meets-crunchy guitar tone reminds distinctly of ‘Kosherat’, with a tight rythm section audible beneath it. Frequent use of harmonic minor progressions, typically associated with Arabian and Semitic music are very appropriate to the overall dynamic. There is less of a heavy metal influence present compared to the aforementioned bands, and generally Svolder stick to an all round uptempo.
Songwriting is consistent, and the aesthetic is cohesive and clever. The very offensive nature of Svolder assesses a fundamental need and appeal for something transgressive and pariah based within a musical genre that has become overwhelmed with ‘acceptance’.