Svartsyn - _Bloodline_
(Sound Riot, 2005)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (7 out of 10)
Not to be mistaken with the Norwegian musical extremists going by the very same moniker, Svartsyn are a Swedish black metal threesome dedicated to old school blackened metal. _Bloodline_ is in fact a re-release of their 1997 album plus the two tracks of the _Tormentor_ 7" EP, originally issued back in 1998. "Keyboard based music is cheap", states band founder Ornias, so nope, you're not likely to find any pseudo-symphonic arrangements or beautiful undead damsels here. This is mid-paced, riff-based, almost rock 'n' roll oriented black metal possessing enough power and harshness to be classified as "true" as well as a good deal of hooks and memorable moments saving it from becoming tedious and dull like most old school acts.

Svartsyn safely managed to sound convincingly raw and grim without compromising the production quality: _Bloodline_ is rather neatly recorded, all the instruments sounding clear and loud. Another good thing about this album is that it's relatively varied, the riffs aren't impossibly fast and the tracks themselves aren't unbearably long. Sure, Svartsyn play it by the book and the material here has its limitations, starting to sound like the same song is being repeated after the middle of the album, but still, these Swedes never promised a grandiose rock opera either.

The bonuses from the _Tormentor_ EP I could have done without, for the quality of the recordings is very minimal and the tracks are way too necro, hardly comparable to _Bloodline_. All in all, a strong release.


(article published 16/1/2006)

12/31/2007 C Drishner 7.5 Svartsyn - Timeless Reign
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