Cvinger - Embodied in Incense - (8.5/10)
Published on May 22, 2016
Formed in 2012, Slovenian black metal band Cvinger quickly released their first demo and EP the year after their formation. While their sound hinted at something promising, it really reflected a rather generic take on black metal, profoundly influenced by the peak of the second wave. The band struck back a year later, releasing their debut full length, The Enthronement ov Diabolical Souls with a revamped lineup. That album built off of their debut, interweaving abrasive atmospherics into their blasting, second wave inspired black metal; finally finding their own voice in the overloaded black metal scene.
Returning with their sophomore full length album, Embodied in Incense, which sees a May 2016 release through Art Gates Records, Cvinger climbs even further out of the darkness. The album features fantastic artwork from Italian mastermind Paolo Girardi, mirroring the album’s concept, which revolves around departing the mortal coil and leaving behind worldly emotions to become free of the human curse. In essence, it portrays the dissection of the soul from the weakened body in order to become a supreme being, to become God. Reflecting these sentiments, the band’s sound, again revolves around darkened histrionics and blasting, unrepentant black metal.
The band sounds more furious and destructive than before, thanks to a stellar recording, mixing and mastering job by Marduk’s Magnus Devo Andersson. The band’s fiery yet cryptic nature shines through, with clear, forceful sound that retains the mysterious murkiness the style requires. The riffing alternates between sharp trem runs and militant walls of fast paced muting juxtaposed with just a touch of malignant death metal riffing, while the drums blast along to no abandon. Despite all of the heavy handed attacks, the band is still able to interject subtle melodies and haunting atmospherics through song breaks and short interludes. The tracks flow together quite nicely, offering a well balanced album that doesn’t collapse under its own weight.
With Embodied in Incense, Cvinger offers pummeling black metal that is destructive, yet the music is perpetually twisting across serpentine paths. It’s a sound that reaches beyond the norm, with prominent roiling bass lines and dynamic vocal delivery, yet the band never loses its grip on the dark, annihilating atmosphere that constantly assault the senses. The entire album shows the band constantly smashing different tempos and riffing styles together in a very convincing way that really shouldn’t work, but does. Fans of Tsjuder, Marduk and 1349 should find plenty to dig into here, as Cvinger’s latest opus brings an authentic second wave sound while not outright copying those who came before. Embodied in Incense sees Cvinger completely cast off the uncertainty of their debut and strike out as the leader of the Slovenian black metal scene.