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Svartsyn - Destruction of Man - 2003 - Sound Riot Records

Track Listing
1. Archdemon of Binah
2. Children of Plague
3. Demons Walking On Earth
4. Towards Chaos
5. Devil's Image
6. Enemies From Beyond
7. Destruction of Man
Svartsyn are a name you probably haven’t heard. They’re not a new band – far from it in fact, having formed in 1991. For a band with such longivity, it’s a little surprising that they haven’t gotten a tad more exposure at this point in their careers. Of course, most of this is probably their own doing – right now they are seen as a very kvlt band in the black metal underground. They released “Destruction of Man” in 2003, but for some reason Sound Riot is doing some promotion for it about two years later – but this is no matter. Instead, the task at hand is to delve into this raw, dark album from Sweden.

The Svartsyn duo consists of mastermind Ornias (vocals, guitars, bass), former Dark Funeral drummer Draugen. Together they manage to create an album that is very much in touch with its old school roots. So in touch, in fact, that it sounds like it was made about ten years earlier than the release date – and this is taking into account the production quality, riffing, and vocals. The only thing that may be characteristic of a “newer” sound is the use of atmospheric keyboard effects in a few places, like during the intro to “Archdemon of Binah” and at the end of “Towards Change.” But in reality, even these fragments sound very primitive and unrefined. That being said, they do complement and contrast the usual harsh banter coming from Ornias’ mouth and guitar quite nicely.

After listening to this album a few times, I feel like I’ve sort of completed a journey. The mood is consistently dark and grim throughout – but with some small and subtle changes (often ushered in by those atmospheric keyboard sections I spoke of earlier). These changes really give “Destruction of Man” an additional interesting aspect that is uncommon to many black metal albums such as this. I’m acutely reminded of the early Satyricon effort “Dark Medieval Times,” which conveys a similar mood and feeling. In fact, if there’s any band these guys most closely resemble it’s Satyricon, right down to the two-member-only rule. Not a real rule of course, I refer to the common scenario where the only two permanent members of a black metal band are the drummer and the main man who does everything else.

When all is said and done, “Destruction of Man” is an above-average release in an often maligned field. Sure, there are moments when it sounds boring and recycled, but others where it throws you a bit of a curve and really makes you think. Any “tr00” black metal fan reading this will 1) be slightly annoyed with me and 2) want to pick this up – but I’d have a hard time seeing anyone who mainly likes music outside of this genre enjoying this mixed bag of an album.


--Veritas 08.08.05

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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