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Raw, Unrefined Black Metal - 60%

DeviousDarren, January 31st, 2007

SVARTSYN refuses to acknowledge the melodic death and black metal that is oh so popular in its home country of Sweden. With the exception of bands like THE BLACK, MARDUK, and DARK FUNERAL; SVARTSYN looks across its frozen border to the land that spawned the modern black metal sound—Norway. Bands like early MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, and GORGOROTH are looked to for inspiration.

A soup filled with human flesh is a nice description of their production, which has long been known as “necro.” The production is fairly clear in the first part of the album, but gets murkier near the album’s end. This type of production adds a good deal of atmosphere to the occult-themed songs, but sometimes drowns out the vocals. Samples that sound like really old movie clips or antique records fit really well with this type of cryptic climate. The MAYHEM-like title, “Great Mysteries of Death” and “Witches Dance for Satan” are two examples of bloodcurdling sound clips, which set a creepy tone for the blasting, blasphemous chaos that follows. Ornias’ guitar tones are so raw they will leave the listener feeling like a motorcycle crash victim. Many of his rhythms are memorable, note the “The Anti-Christ” (SLAYER) guitar praise on the album’s title track.

The major fault of this release is the lack of variety. Although Ornias’ riffs are catchy and “true,” he repeats his self too much. Like early BURZUM releases, the music’s atmosphere and repetition may be trance inducing, but it can also get boring after awhile. The poor mix and redundancies of this one keep it from earning the 80% rating like the bands praised by this terrorizing two-piece band are sure to receive.

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