Lvcifyre – Svn Eater (Dark Descent Records)

Wednesday, 15th January 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Spell-check be damned, Lvcifyre’s sophomore effort, Svn Eater, represents a death/black metal hybrid that’s rooted in the old but avoids the usual pitfalls.  If you can get past the “too cvlt for the spelling bee” band name and title and just hit play, you’ll be treated to one of the more sinister sounding albums of the year thus far if you can get through one small hiccup.

It’s unfortunate that Svn Eater gets up on the wrong side of the bed to start.  Lengthy, and somewhat questionable lead-off track “Night Sea Sorcery” deviates from the rest of the album with it’s very slow, lumbering build-up, spoken word, and doomy atmosphere, only beginning to hint at the massive speed and heaviness found through the remainder of the album.  Not that it’s a bad song, it just feels misplaced, when blistering tracks like “Calicem Obscurum” and “Liber Lilith” sit behind at the ready.  It feels more like it could have been a nice breather moment a few tracks inward.

The remainder of the tracks abandon the doomy feel of the opening track and bring an unrelenting heaviness.  Frequently blasting away with a variety of low gutteral roars and some blackish rasps, its Lvcifyre’s knack for building in atmosphere without taking away from the brutality that keeps things from being a dull affair.  Using minimal sampling in tracks like “The Fiery Spheres of the Seven,” “Nekomanteion,” and the closing “The Sinister Calling,” it gives a more haunting element and more depth than some of their peers.  The production is also suitably murky for this type of death metal, giving it the needed power and adding to the atmosphere without sounding dated.

While Svn Eater doesn’t exactly challenge the boundaries of blackened death metal, the ingredients are pulled together in such a fashion that most genre fans will find hard to ignore.  Destined to give the band a huge push in the awareness front, it will be interesting to see where Lvcifyre goes from here.

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