Slavia - _Strength and Vision_
(Drakkar Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Slavia are the first band I have reviewed to have migrated from demo to album. More importantly, a move that is well-deserved and long overdue. Not for want of trying -- the erroneously named Norseman has released a number of demos before recording his debut.

It's hard to comment on how his sound has shifted over the course of those demos, as I have only heard _Gloria in Excelsis Sathan_, his 2001 demo, which is quite a different beast from this. That demo possessed a rather generic sound which was popular at the time, although already beginning to wane in popularity, and Slavia have settled for a more deliberately abrasive tone and looser style. The abrogation of melody and reverb result in an album that is harder to get into, as it has to be listened to quite closely in order to truly appreciate its nuances and not just seem as a pile of unadulterated and distorted noise.

Slavia has not lost his liking for classical bombast, but in addition to the two samples present (including "Marche Funebre" -- a Chopin piece which is definitely overused, yet never loses its capacity to move), there are also some World War II samples and even some Middle Eastern melodies! These are featured at the end or beginning of songs, although the non-classical pieces don't really add much.

Several songs have been re-recorded or recycled from the _GiES_ demo, namely "Divided by Three" and "Triolum Repens", the album's acoustic closer. Another worthy addition to Drakkar's roster, and a long overdue debut by Slavia.

Contact: http://www.drakkar666.com

(article published 24/8/2007)


DEMOS
7/3/2002 Q Kalis 4 Slavia - Gloria in Excelcis Sathan
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