Svyatogor - _With Wolfish Stalk and By Wings of Black_
(Blazing Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Like labelmates Mind Propaganda, Svyatogor do not stray too far from the template of raucous and raw black metal, but are saved from absolute mediocrity through the adoption of twin guitars and the interplay between the trudging rhythm and catchy leads, which is the strongest part of their sound. There is a slight punkish tint reflecting an increasing interaction between the hardcore hate and NSBM scenes, but with the exception of a riff in "Battle Beyond the Forest", it is not overt. Folk influences are similarly scarce, barring one or two occasions.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for indulging in extraneous and extremely cliché aspects, such as the samples of wolves howling and swords clashing on the battlefield. These elements are so cliché even veteran bands would struggle to utilise such samples effectively. Their lyrical focus is obvious but mundane, with the (translated) lyrics to songs such as "Ravens and Wolves" and "War Anthem" sounding just as inspired as the titles.

Nonetheless, their compositions are sufficiently adequate to be entertaining, and the lyrics are easily ignored. Given the current surplus of Slavic NSBM bands flooding the market, they may bask in the reflected glory of their brethren; but stronger material is needed to stand apart from the war cries of their heathen kin.


(article published 3/10/2007)

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