Album Title: 
The Synthesis Of Whore And Beast
Release Date: 
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Review Type: 

Svartidauði (meaning ‘black death’) hail from Iceland, and some of you might surely remember 2012’s full length Flesh Cathedral, released via Norway’s Terratur Possessions. Shortly after that release, the band started writing on some new songs, and in 2014 they released two new tracks on tape, via the very same label. In mean time the stuff was put on compact disc and vinyl as well, via both Terratur Possessions and Russia’s Daemon Worship Productions, yet both of them being done with different cover art.

Anyway, this material was produced at the Emissary Studio with Stephen Lockhart, and gets divided into two parts: The Synthesis Of Whore And Beast on side A (tracks Venus Illegitima and Impotent Solar Phallus), and The Deconstruction Of Whore And Beast on side B (with the song AMFJ - The Deconstruction Of Whore And Beast). The promotional version I did receive consists of both first pieces; not the deconstructive part of the game. Venus Illegitima immediately shows the strength of this Icelandic act, and that’s the ability to combine complex structures with traditional excellence.

Indeed, Svartidauði are such a band that is rooted within the tradition of the Second Wave for quite a big part, yet that knows to reinterpret, and redefine all this in quite a unique manner. It sounds like some kind of missing link in between Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega, injected with quite a non-deniable dose of Scandinavian (or more generally seen: trans-European) grandeur. The latter especially goes for the melodious structures. This opening track sort of seeks for a perfect equilibrium in between sonic intelligence and aural devastation, and the band truly succeeds to reach that delicate balance.

Impotent Solar Phallus is much more of a blasting-furious conceptual effort, with a huge differentiation in structure and speed. There is even more dissonance and diffusion (confusion???), yet once again the band does not reach some stupid or pathetic level of exaggeration at all. No, despite the harsh post-mentality, this material will be easily digest by those who have that necessary strong stomach. Great too is the diversification in tempo, and especially the almost droning-doomy finale stands out.

If this is an omen to some upcoming full length, then I will start impatiently scratching my ear…