Svartidauði - The Synthesis of Whore and Beast - (8/10)

Published on May 3, 2014

Tracklist:

  1. Venus Illegitima
  2. Impotent Solar Phallus

Genre:

Black

Label:

Daemon Worship Productions

Playing Time:

16:20

Country:

Iceland

Year:

2014

Website:

Visit page

Poetry of a poisoned mind.

 

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Two years after dropping the gargantuan Flesh Cathedral Iceland’s darkest export strikes back with The Synthesis of Whore and Beast, a two track EP birthed from the same cursed womb as its immediate predecessor. Co-released by Daemon Worship Productions and Terratur Possessions, featuring horrific hymns constructed with arguably no purpose other than fucking with the minds of humans, Synthesis is not an easy sonic journey. It is black and Icelandic, however, so rest assured it’ll drag you kicking and screaming through hell and you’ll thank ‘em for it at the end of it all.

 

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Masters of the build-and-crescendo approach, they share a certain aesthetic kinship with fellow compatriots Carpe Noctem, Wormlust and Chao (now operating under the Sinmara moniker and set to release their beastly debut soon), Svartidauđi’s music straddles a fine line between order and chaos. Songs often start out somewhat languid, with subdued chords injecting but the faintest trill of malevolence into proceedings before everything collapses into aural hellfire as punishing blasts, searing vocals and thick riffs let loose at a moment’s notice. The voluminous production job imbues the vocals with extra oomph and one can but marvel at the ghastly pallor of Sturla Viđar’s harrowing vocals and how it hangs thick over the miasma of guitars, bass and drums. Its density draws you in and the progressions, sometimes subtle sometimes abrupt, keep things ticking along at a steady (and engrossing) clip.

 

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They are perhaps at their best when they bare teeth, like they do during the bone-breaking first half of “Venus Illegitima,” as the double bass runs, lashing riffs and those fucking vocals plant you smack dab in the middle of the storm. The more intense the heavy parts the more enjoyable the subsequent mellow parts which, in spite of the distortion and irredeemably evil vibe, aren’t that far removed from the rhythm-centric jam-out approach so prevalent among post-rockers. It’s blasphemy, I know, but it’s there. While this counterpoint works wonders on the aforementioned “Venus Illegitima” it isn’t executed with the same vigour and focus on the following track. Bearing what is a regrettably telling title, “Impotent Solar Phallus” lacks the punch of the opener. While more compositionally intricate, with tempo shifts aplenty, its slower sections suck the life out of it to some extent. The drums assume a vague galloping thrust during the early stages of the song but after that it just comes off as, well, impotent in the majesty of the opener. It’s not enough to derail proceedings though, and when taken as a whole Synthesis is yet another triumph in the band’s small yet devastatingly impressive catalogue.

 

 

Neil Pretorius

Author: Neil Pretorius

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