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Svartsyn - Bloodline - 2005 - Sound Riot Records

Track Listing
1. Terrordemon
2. Bloodline
3. Vampyric Sleep
4. Upon the Throne
5. Great Mysteries of Death
6. Starcursed and Dead
7. From Haunted Depths
8. Witches Dance For Satan
9. Waves of Eternal Darkness
10. Goat Throne (Bonus Track)
11. Throne of the Antichrist (Bonus Track)
Quietly plying their trade for more than a decade, the reliably durable trio of Svartsyn return with another full length titled ‘Bloodline’. On one level Svartsyn’s effort here seem entirely unspectacular and rote, as they rumble slap-dash through 40 minutes of old school tremolo black metal. But on another level (one that becomes apparent after about four or five listens), ‘Bloodline’ is an interesting, if not entirely unique, hybrid of both the old and the new.

The peculiarities of Svartsyn, at least the Svartsyn of 2006, begin with ‘Bloodline’s cover art, a black and white sketch that will likely remind some of last year’s The Dark Archives from the new American group Charnel Valley, a cover of dubious quality that prompted criticisms regarding the band’s character and ‘trueness’. Svartsyn also share with Charnel Valley a raw and seemingly monochromatic style of black metal that subtly draws from modern influences in a rather ‘USBM’ way. This is only a passing comparison, though, as Svartsyn is the more successful of the two in essentially all respects. A more effective comparison for Svartsyn would combine a number of bands: the black ‘n’ roll (though not quite to that extreme) of new Darkthrone, the contributing and audible bass of Leviathan (along with some of that production style) and the rare but powerful splashes of ethereal atmosphere, perhaps the most European of Svartsyn’s aspects, reminiscent of France’s S.V.E.S.T.

Another strange aspect of this album is the press release. Despite the rather modern fringes of ‘Bloodline’, the press release from Sound Riot (a stalwart label for underappreciated groups) claims that this album was actually recorded in 1997 and 1998, and that the mastering only occurred in 2005. The veracity of this is unverified, but it may add an unusual perspective to the listening experience.

Also included after the essentially useless outro track is the band’s two-track Tormenter EP from 1998, which is admittedly difficult to digest after the relatively clean production of the preceding tracks. However, the final two tracks are actually quite revealing and worth more than a cursory listen, as they embody more of the unique atmosphere previously mentioned and are quite possibly the best part of this album, for those willing to look past the production.

And it is those small breaks from the ordinary that make ‘Bloodline’ so listenable. Svartsyn are not a band to convert any skeptics, nor a band to get too terribly excited over, but they are competent, to say the least. Slightly-more-than-standard-fare to clean one’s blackened palate without compromising its quality.




--Etiam 09.13.06

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SVARTSYN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
BloodlineSvartsyn
2005
Etiam10/3/2006
Destruction of ManSvartsyn
2003
Veritas8/8/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SVARTSYN
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
In DeathSvartsyn
2017
David Loveless8/17/2017
In DeathSvartsyn
2017
Greg Watson5/11/2017


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SVARTSYN
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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