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jools green
Jools Green


Italian Doom Metal quartet Svlfvr have made a huge leap forward with 'Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt', their full length follow up to 2012s independently released 'Seeding The Astral Mark' EP. This new material comes in darker, heavier and richer sounding than its predecessor, with a line-up that features members of Italian Black metal outfit Rexor; guitarist Asmodeus and Rexor's drummer Dionysos, here covering vocals, along with two new members since the release of 'Seeding...', Poseidon of thrash outfit Dead Soul on drums and Vrolok Lavey from heavy horror thrashers 'Story Of Jade' on bass/synths.

'Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt' is once again five tracks but this time they span an impressive fifty-four minutes, almost twice the length of its predecessor and with more of a Black Metal influence to the sound as well as subtle influences from other genres. The final result is "an introspective journey into the darkest corners of the musician's minds" with "lyrical themes inspired by personal experiences, reflections on death and natural cycles, suicide and the role of humans in the cosmos, the real common theme being transcendence, or the detached observation of the dynamics of the universe, the acceptance of good and evil as parts of a whole, the creation of good from evil and vice versa. These themes strongly influence the music, designed to transport the listeners out of their bodies and into a mystical and transcendental experience."

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Across the five tracks there are common reoccurring signature elements tying the tracks together, for example the rich heavy riffing that becomes crushing at times, an underlying dark groove and superbly broad ranging vocals ranging from a deep harsh gargle that is delivered with impressive power all the way up to hugely expressive cleans that often take on a deranged edge to their delivery adding a huge amount to the audio imagery.

All the tracks are eight minutes or longer, yet still grip your interest throughout; this is down to the well constructed nature of the tracks.

Then there are those finishing touches to each piece, atmospheric sound bites ; the sinister "ticking" beat alongside slow guitar work on 'Countdown To Death', waves that blend into melancholic haunting riffs on 'Wish To Drown In An Abyss Of Water', a track where I really "felt the pain", sharpening the mental imagery further.


There is also well placed lead work adding the finish to 'Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt' and 'Countdown To Death'. The final track, 'Dying Star's Empathy', is an epic masterpiece and at almost twenty minutes, varied and complex, slower and protracted, rising and falling like a mighty cosmic struggle with haunting guitar work that expands out into some utterly sublime emotive lead work before a final protracted fade out.

Overall 'Shamanic Lvnar Cvlt' is a stunning listen. I have no favourites here as it's flawlessly superb end to end, hugely thought provoking and emotive. The album is available from Bakerteam Records as a CD or digital download.
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