SVARTFELL
Apocryphe Apocalypse (2012) By xDemoNx

Svartfell is another one man band from the big underground French scene which is active in Black Metal eleven years already. They were formed in 2001 by Valhgarm, who plays all instruments and he does the vocals, and they have released two demos and three full length albums. “Apocryphe Apocalypse” is their third full length album which was released two months ago (June 2012) by Hass Weg Productions, and it contains eight compositions and one atmospheric outro, of forty six minutes duration. Judging by the very beautiful cover you already understand that Svartfell are devoted to the old, true Black Metal of the firt days. So really by the first minutes already the previous assumption is confirmed. In the album we will come across to fast Black Metal devoted to the first days of the sound, with some ‘80’ies Heavy Metal passages and parts, as also in some tracks we will find that punk minimalism with rhythmic straightforward riffs and influences of Motorhead.

Concerning the composition and their structure, the tracks are very interesting, with nice changes in the riffing that break the monotony, with other times slow and other times fast passages, keep the listeners interest throughout the album’s duration. The riffs are fast, straightforward Black Metal which brings to listener’s mind the first days of the sound with quite many elements of Heavy and Thrash of the ’80’ies. The guitars are dirty and dark and generally they are well played, delivering the occult, dark atmosphere of the compositions to the listener. The production is to dirty which creates noise to the sound. So the bass’ lines can’t be distinguished at all while although it appears that they have done a good job concerning the drums’ lines, because of the dirty sound the boot and the more bassy sounds can’t be heard clearly.

The vocals are monotonous, heavy Black Metal vocals that reminds somehow, bands of the American scene. Their performance is quite good and they fit to the dark atmosphere. Apart from the bad production, the mix is quite good as the sound comes out bounded and there is no instruments that covers any other. The lyrics are written in English apart from “Asmodée, le Souffle Ardent de Dieu” which is written in French. The lyrics are quite interesting and along with the music they can travel you to the medieval scenery that they narrate. Svartfell describe of occult rituals during the knights of the cross era with an occult and antichristian view.

I listened to the album many times and apart from the bad sound, I enjoyed it in every listen. Svartfell give a nostalgic Black Metal sound without falling into the trap of coping or reproducing that period, but through their influences they create something quite interesting. Many of you won’t like the bad production and you won’t give to “Apocryphe Apocalypse” any chance. A chance that I think it deserves it.

1. Terribilis Est Locus Iste 05:53
2. The Crimson Cross 05:58
3. Baphomet and Death's Heads 05:26
4. Depth of the Sacred Stone 06:16
5. Asmodée, le Souffle Ardent de Dieu 05:47
6. The Temple Beneath the Cromlech 06:07
7. INRI - Igne Natura Renovatur Integra 04:14
8. Mountains of Doom (PartII) 04:31
9. Maleficium - Epilogus 01:41