svrm – Занепад (Vigor Deconstruct)

Friday, 17th January 2020
Rating: 8/10

New year, old joys. Case in point, this joyous EP release by Ukrainian solo act svrm. Firmly entrenched in the Drudkh take on black metal, this is straight forward, melodic, and often melancholic. Занепад is an all too brief experience at just over twenty minutes and before you know, it’s over. If this is any indication of where svrm is going in the years ahead, sign me the fuck up.

The EP wastes no time and employs a scorched earth track from the moment the listener presses play with “У Пеклі” and it is in this introductory track that a clear line of kinship to fellow Ukrainians Drudkh is strongest – it barely relents across its length. Conversely “Над Свіжими Могилами” opens with acoustic guitar and spends portions of its time being almost meditative (…comparatively) to the many faster passages. “Старість” features a raid-siren like quality to its guitarwork, indicative perhaps of the many forms of decay the EP points to.

A short release and comparatively, a short review. This is a niche release in a niche field but if modern Drudkh is in your listening wheelhouse you cannot go wrong with Занепад. This album is also notable for yours truly as it prompted a lifetime first purchase, now in my early 30s: a cassette. In all hopes this strong EP release is a prelude to a stellar album on the near horizon. Behold and despair!

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