On their new album — which is named, in Ukrainian, Занепад — Kharkiv, Ukraine’s fierce black metal project Svrm have presented an absolutely devastating, personally palpable look at destruction. They are unrelenting in the blood-curdling chaos that reverberates throughout this piece. The frigid riffing intermingling with the utterly blistering blast beat onslaught feels like it’s mixing a crushing hardcore-esque brutality with the inescapable nature of the hugest traditional black metal. Even the vocals drive in the chaos via their throat-shreddingly fierce, metallic hardcore-like presentation, and ultimately, the streaks of passionately dynamically swinging riffing that course through this creation feel like they themselves are encapsulating wails that are ringing out across a desolate hellscape.
The consistently dramatic riffing, unfurling hit after hit of emotionally upending fury, delivers a kind of metaphysically amplified crush amidst the whole creation. When the riffing gets slightly more shrill and slightly less beastly, that chaotic and disorienting feeling only amplifies. There’s nothing here but fury as the music wails like the wake of destructive desolation. Occasionally, the music slows down slightly, but those moments definitely don’t pack anything like a true respite. Instead, the instability and hints of terror that pockmark those moments help indicate the wide scope of the annihilation at hand. The blasts and barrages from the drums and guitar are absolutely relentless.
Track two begins with a startlingly slow folksy tune that feels driven by swinging, desperation-wracked melody, and that intense, musically expressed desperation actually continues when the music suddenly shifts into the familiar blistering, thick-toned guitar attack. Track three feels absolutely racked with even more despondent unease leading up to the dark, somberly persistent, soul-crushing conclusion, which features chest-thumping emotional gravity in the intense blasts of riffing.
Melodic blasts powerful enough to suggest craters across the soundscape do continue in the mix, but the feeling always remains emotionally devastating – never bright, not for a moment. Those moments and the whole album reveal an ambitiously wide portrait of emotionally palpable absolute metaphysical annihilation. Security and stability have been ripped away in a whir.
The music feels, ultimately, miserable — and that makes it great, in the sense of a refreshingly honest, freely direct portrayal of the clouds that have been gathering in the distance for a long time. The hugely vicious music feels like observing the end of the world, or at least the end of one’s own.
Check out the music below! It’s available via Vigor Deconstruct.