Lvcifyre: Svn Eater

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Lvcifyre: Svn Eater
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Lvcifyre: Svn Eater
Black Metal, Death Metal
Dark Descent Records
January 21st, 2014
Release length: 50:55
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Back in 2011, Lvcifyre unleashed their debut full-length album The Calling Depths through Blood Harvest Records, which was picked up for a later re-release through Pulverised Records at the start of 2012. The mixture of abysmal Black Metal with crushing Death Metal struck a chord within the underground Metal community, and also grabbed the interest of Dark Descent Records, one of the more recognizable of the subterranean Metal labels today. Armed with a new home, the United Kingdom-based four piece ventured back to the studio to record their follow-up fifty minute effort, Svn Eater. But has the group grown enough to make this a far more memorable performance, or is this outing less substantial and memorable than the last?

For the most part, Svn Eater is simply unforgiving. While not entirely raw, the audio still sounds rather gritty, giving the blunt-edged distortions a nice burdening sensation that is backed up by the crisp drums and deep pulsing bass guitar. The vocals, however, have a heavy echo, as if hearing them from down a large corridor or cavern. This suits the overall atmosphere well, especially after “Night Seas Sorcery” is done setting things up. The nine minute plus performance begins with a ritualistic Black Metal build before trudging into a crushing Doom Metal pace about a minute and a half in. It isn’t until the five minute mark that the weight is lifted, only to be used to hammer away at you like a hammer swung at a mid-tempo speed. The mixture of hollowed growls and crisp rasps a bit in the background help to build a good deal of tension for the next minute, slowing down once more for an eerie silence, as if the final verse before summoning some sinister being that wreaks havoc for the last two minutes. This is one of the more impressive cuts, showing a band working with a good deal of restraint to make the pace move fluidly from start to finish without feeling drawn out or forced into its length.

“Calicem Obscurum” drops the crawling pace for a more violent outburst, hammering away at the drums with some guitar work that seems like it wants to go a bit over-the-top, but is held back to prevent it. At times the lower consistent chords, such as about a minute and a half in, mirror the aggression of “Slaves Shall Serve” by Behemoth, but with a far more hideous intent behind them that refuses to let up even for a second. “The Fiery Spheres of the Seven” shares a similar aggression, though does have some bridges, like the ambient passage about three minutes in and for the overall last minute, both of which usher in a sense of of isolation to the mix. They are momentary reprieves for the listener from the crippling faster verses and authority filled vocals so venomous you can smell the scent of rot as the saliva stings your face.

“Fyre Made Flesh” is the only song that ends up not being that appealing. While not a bad song, the slower groove sections sadly don’t seem to fit. This is obvious right after the introduction of a woman shouting, kicking into some rather standard nineties-era Death Metal riffs until the blasting drums kick in about a minute in. But then there’s the polar opposite “Liver Lilith,” which is more engaging in how the guitars can sound like ominous horns, the kind one might expect to hear during the end times. It’s actually an incredibly eerie sound the appears from time to time throughout the album, but never as rich or dominating as they are here. When the pace slows down about two minutes in, they do loose their bite a bit, showing it’s more the end result of the bass kicks and vocals kind of drowning parts of the distortion out, but damn is it ever effective in making this forsaken piece of audio all the more hopeless.

When it comes to the world of mixing Black Metal and Death Metal, the genre itself is starting to get old pretty quick. A lot of bands can’t seem to create their own sound without emulating Behemoth in one way or another. While Lvcifyre do have their moments where the riffs or intensity can be compared to them, Svn Eater shows a band within the style that has their own voice that demands to be heard, but, sadly, is more than likely destined to be overlooked and remain in the underground due to it’s raw intensity. Lvcifyre really step up their game here, weaving an album that, with the exception of “Fyre Made Flesh,” is a truly engrossing experience that speaks to the listener on so many different levels. If you liked The Calling Depths, or are just looking for something truly abysmal, then prepare to forsake all others upon hearing Svn Eater.

01. Night Seas Sorcery – 9:23
02. Calicem Obscurum – 4:33
03. Liber Lilith – 5:10
04. Sun Eater – 4:31
05. In Fornication Water – 4:28
06. Nekuomanteion – 4:38
07. The Fiery Spheres of the Seven – 4:53
08. Fyre Made Flesh – 5:30
09. The Sinister Calling – 7:49
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Lvcifyre
Lvcifyre

Digital review copy of this release provided by Dark Descent Records via Clawhammer PR.