Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Album Review; Lvcifyre - Svn Eater

Track Listing:

1. Night Seas Sorcery
2. Calicem Obscurum
3. Liber Lilith
4. Svn Eater
5. In Fornication Waters
6. Nekuomanteion
7. The Fiery Spheres Of The Seven
8. Fyre Made Flesh
9. The Sinister Calling

Being completely honest; upon my first listen to this album 'Svn Eater', I wasn't completely sold. Black Metal is a genre just like any other - it has it's copycats. Bands that, despite the fact it's 2014 and they'd easily be able to get ahold of some decent home studio equipment, decide to make their recorded output sound really shitty and reverb-drenched, just to be like their 90's Norwegian heroes; evil sounding music from the underground. In reality, most of it just ends up sounding really cheap. More like a Disney villain than anything to do with supposed demonic entities.

'Svn Eater' comes dangerously close to making the same mistake. It's not all typical Black Metal; the opening song 'Night Seas Sorcery' begins with Doom Metal pace, sluggish guitars and drums twisting around echoing rasps. Filling the empty spaces is a droning bass guitar. For a solid five minutes this continues. A bit long, some may agree, but the waiting soon pays off somewhat. Death growls make their first appearance, as does a sense of speed and heaviness.

'Calicem Obscurum' is quite typical Black Metal for the most part, although a lot of the vocal work owes to Death Metal. The Death vocals are pretty damned accomplished, actually. They go as deep as any Death Metal fan could want. The idea clearly seems to be for the song to sound like a swirling mass of Chaos. Constant blast beats, evil-sounding tremolo-picked chord progressions, a few Slayer-esque guitar leads for good measure. All the ingredients are there. It's just a tad too predictable. The screams of "Summon me" half way through are quite silly, too. Obviously, the demonic has always been a key element of Black Metal, but at this point it is rather cabaret. Black Metal has grown up since the 90's.

Another issue that makes itself blatantly known in 'Liber Lilith' is that the lyrics are difficult to make out. Not because of the vocal style, but because the ever present echo in the production makes the vocals quite muddy at times, infuriatingly hiding the lyrics. The title track is another all-speed Black Metal song. There's a lot of impressive drumming going on, but largely, it still strikes the same iron, only it's not so hot anymore.

'In Fornication Waters' starts with another dose of droning bass sounds, and when the music comes in's the same again. Lyrically, it's a twisted account of sickening or disturbing lustful and carnal desires. Which is all fine and well, but such things aren't really shocking anymore, are they?

There may be the odd slower, doomy passage where the intention may be to increase atmosphere, or allow the listener a breather, but the sad thing is that these are the better parts of the songs. There's a refreshing melodic guitar solo in 'Nekuomanteion', but that's over too quickly to really change my opinion of this offering. Hell, maybe it'll be better suited for live showings. Maybe I'm missing something when I'm listening to it, because all I've heard are great things about this album. I can only be honest though, and in all honesty; this album basically bored me. It's all very samey, nothing stood out either on the record or from the hordes or Black Metal bands. Something about it feels to me like a rehashing of twenty year-old ideas. At this point in time, Black Metal doesn't need that.

If you're a rabid Black Metal fan, this may be your cup of tea. If this is your first taste of Black Metal, I can well imagine it would be an eye opener. For me, and maybe others who have listened to more than their fair share, this is, in a word; throwaway. There are many other Black Metal bands that are either doing something more original or memorable, such as Marduk, Rotting Christ or Behemoth. And with Mayhem set to make a return to the fold, I don't know what need there is for Lvcifyre in my record collection at the moment.

Rating: 2/10

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