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SVLFVR: Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt

This album has a thematic interest in transcendence, particularly to a point where one might be able to experience the world without certain common restraints. For me, the most familiar version of this idea comes from Emerson's comment in Nature where he describes becoming a transparent eyeball. Though critics made fun of him for his eyeball metaphor, Emerson was undaunted: there are simply some experiences that cannot be shared with ease. I don't notice any direct references to transparent eyeballs on this album but I take the band's word for it that this album has to do with observing the universe in ways that approach the ability to understand it in ways beyond normal human comprehension.

The music on this album probably can't match the ambition of the lyrics and yet the band has developed a series of songs that sound great. I was impressed with the band's knack for creating songs that blend just enough atmosphere with more familiar black metal components. Surprisingly, the band also uses clean vocals in surprising and effective ways. I mention that because many bands don't strike a good balance between clean and dirty vocals. SVLFVR knows when to use them—and for how long. Some listeners will find some of these songs overly long, especially the closing track which comes to nearly 20 minutes. I thought the lengths generally suited the album even though I agree that long tracks are risky, especially if a band doesn't have quite enough good material to keep things interesting. I'm sure SVLFVR has room to grow but this is a generally strong release, one that's worth a listen.

Be sure to check out the cover art on this one. It shows a wizard, standing at the top of a trail, his left hand holding up a staff and his gaze turned toward the night sky. Above and around him, the night sky transforms into a brilliant display of light and color. Is he about to enter a state of transcendence, of understanding beyond this human present? It's a striking image, one that matches the sound and lyrical content of the music.

Track Listing:
1. Total Absence of Light
2. Wish To Drown in an Abyss of Water
3. Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt
4. Count Down to Death
5. Dying Star's Empathy

Added: August 10th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1474
Language: english

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