There is something foul afoot in England. Not since the late ’80s early ’90s has there been this much of an explosion in quality metal arising from the once fair isle in the last couple of years. And it’s not just the quality, it’s the substance of the music that is surprising; Binah, Grave Miasma, Indesinence, Cruciamentum, and Lvcifyre are rendering this oozing, cavernous, crawling, filthy form of death/doom metal that’s simply crushing. And the second album from London’s Lvcifyre might be the best of the bunch (at least until Binah deliver another record).

There is a lot of member cross pollination in the above bands, so there is no surprise that there is a little similarity in their sounds, as Lvcifyre is rooted in new/old Finnish muck and Immolation‘s twisty swirling miasma and Incantation‘s decrepit tones, but it’s crafted, like label mates Corpsessed, with an atonal majesty that makes it as imposing as it is cavernous. Discordant but regal in its sheer weight, Svneater delivers an oppressive, commanding presence and like Dark Descent’s other two releases early in 2014 (Corpsessed and Lie in Ruins) will be atop many year end lists, assuming it/they don’t get lost due to the early in the year release.

Funnily enough though, Svneater starts out on pretty shaky footing with opener, “Night Seas Sorcery”, a scrawling nine minute doom/black atmospheric/spoken and rasped word invocation. It picks up to a massive lumber about five minutes in, but it still almost has me lose interest before the album even gets going. It would have been better suited as a album close out, in my opinion, but who am I? However, the album really kicks in for second track “Calicem Obscurum” and third track “Liber Lilith”, where the band sounds like Immolation and Cultes Des Ghoules being played in a cave. Deep, echoe-y vocals, atonal, oppressive but discernible riffs and moments of ritualistic refrains set the template for the albums following 6 songs, each as chaotically regal, and menacing as the last.

The title track has a nice mid song march that shows the band can reign in the chaos every so often, and they are welcome breaks from the sheer noise. The excellently named “In Fornication Waters” and furious “The Fiery Spheres of the Seven” could be construed as the album standouts, but with a style an relentless delivery such as this, the tracks all have the same veneer and insidious presence that tends to bleed into one suffocating 50 minute ritual.

Penultimate track “Fyre Made Flesh” delivers a more traditional death metal prose with some slower/mid paced structures amid the vortex before the final, the seven minute, aptly named “The Sinister Calling” delivers the coup de grace. Much like the opener, it’s a slow building atmospheric invocation with chants and such but gets to its explosive pace much quicker and then abruptly ends. Again, “Night Seas Sorcery” would have been a more fitting end note but that does not stop Svneater from being a massive, impressive album and gives Dark Descent a killer start to the new year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 27th, 2014


  1. Commented by: CannibalDave

    I just got this album so it’s still taking up most of my time. I’ve said elsewhere, after the awesome opener, it would have been nice for just a touch more variety throughout the rest of the album. Make no mistake, it’s a great album, but a little less blasting and a little more slow stuff here and there would have made it even better. Ah, less blasting. I must be getting old.

  2. Commented by: F. Rini

    Erik-great review, yeah, Dark Descent came right the F out the starting gates with this, Corpsessed and Lie in Ruins this yr. I have no idea what label will top them this yr.

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