SVARGA
Spirit of the Land (2014) By xDemoNx

Although Svarga from Ukraine exists since many years in Black Metal, either because of its few releases, either because of the long time that it was inactive, I hadn’t gotten to know its music before. The band consists of six members, drums, bass, two guitars, keyboards and vocals and they were formed in 2002. Actually their presence into music begins in 2002 with their first demo which is followed by their first full length album in 2003 and it ends with an EP release in 2004. From this moment on there are some participations of them into various compilation albums until the split of the band in 2009. In 2013, with only two members from the first formation of the band to be still here, they re-activate the band and in the July of 2014 they release their second full length album called “Spirit of the Land”. The band in this album plays majestic, melodic Black Metal.

The band shows its creativity with the very interesting riffs that it creates and the changes that it does into the style and the atmosphere of the music. Here the listener will listen to chaotic-majestic riffs that brought to my mind Emperor, atmospheric and melodic mid tempo ones that reminded me somehow of Lutomysl or even some epic riffs. So regarding the composition the band, if I exclude two – three parts that they seemed to me quite more “mainstream”, it has done a very good and well – crafted work. The atmosphere rules by the first notes of the album and it delivers the images and the feelings very vividly. The changes that take place during the tracks, both concerning the style and concerning the feelings and the atmosphere, don’t let the listener not even wonder about the duration of each track. The structure of the tracks combined with the ability of the band to compose, it is so good that every track presents a story as a whole but at the same time it is connected to the next one. So the listener remains transfixed throughout the entire duration of the album.

The instruments are played flawlessly, with nice technic and energy. Those that they surely are distinguished are the guitars with their very passionate sound, other times dark and other times epic, and the keyboards. The keyboards are here for the entire duration of the tracks and they make the atmosphere, which is other times majestic, other times dark and other times epic, very intense. The bass is almost inaudible but the sound is not empty. The drums are played with passion, intensity and accuracy, their lines although that they are quite interesting, they maintain a secondary character. The vocals are very expressive harsh Black Metal screams which fit to the compositions a lot and they give them a brutal and primitive character. The production is clean and it puts out a very dark, heavy but warm sound. The mixture is balanced and it maintains that solid character of the compositions. Finally the lyrics are written in Ukrainian and they are contained into the cd along with their English translations. If they weren’there it might have been better because although that the music is so interesting, the lyrics speak of the Aryan race, the ancestors, the bound of blood with nature, honour. But all these are presented in a manner that a similar way of expression we would find in almost every band of that kind.

I have been always feeling a great appreciation for The Ukrainian Black Metal and fortunately releases such as Spirit of the Land come to stimulate and to refresh that appreciation. The band after ten years of inactivity returns with a release that surely points out to the Black Metal fans that they are here and that they still have a lot to offer. I believe that the fans of the melodic, epic and atmospheric Black Metal must buy this one or at least listen to it. Either way it is a very good release and I think that all of the Black Metal fans will appreciate it.

1. Breaking the Hedges 05:04
2. By the Dawn of a New Day 03:35
3. Spirit of the Land 06:01
4. The Prayer of the Mute Lips 03:49
5. Let the Blood Boil 07:29
6. The Law of the Arms 04:54
7. Way to the Immortality 07:11
8. The Symbol of Freedom 06:26
9. Grind of Swords (We Shall Hear Again and Again) 03:56
10. Vranakrik (Temnozor cover) 05:01