Svarga - _Yav Vozdimaet_
(Stellar Winter, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
This is at least the third time that an album with this name has been released by Svarga. However, I haven't heard any of the earlier versions and have no idea what they sound like, so I have given Svarga the benefit of the doubt and have not allowed the knowledge of the existence of their previous recordings to affect the rating, as I would ordinarily have done.

This is a short six-song EP, including an intro and outro. While the outro is relatively standard stuff, the intro has a strong folk feel that is carried through to the next song. Unusually, this feel is not gained via a near-compulsory woodwind instrument, but through a keyboard, which makes for a refreshing change. For some reason, Svarga do not pursue the folksy feel in any other songs, and the keys are used intermittently in the background, and not nearly as forceful. Like labelmates Velimor, Svarga also have an old school feel, although less pronounced. This is naturally accompanied by the typically full Slavic black metal production, although the screechy vocals do not adequately complement the music; I suspect that the vocals will deepen in pitch over time.

Nonetheless, _Yav Vozdimaet_ remains a fine example of the quality acts that the Eastern European NSBM scene is churning out in assembly line fashion.


(article published 23/10/2006)

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