I’m always up for some 90s styled Symphonic black metal, and Sweden’s Svartghast is up to the task with their solid, if by the numbers debut, Perdition. Not surprising when you consider one half of the duo is G. Johansson/Choronzon who has served in the likes of Setherial, Impious, and Torchbearer.

The formula is pretty simple with heavy nods to Dimmu Borgir as well as the countless 90s Scandinavian bands playing the style (Emperor, Arthemesia, Old Man’s Child, …And Oceans, Limbonic Art, Grief of Emerald, etc) ; big bombastic theatrical synths, razor-sharp tremlo picked riffs, some militant marches, harsh shrieks and occasional growls.

It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but it checks all the boxes and has enough blistering riffs and dramatic orchestration to be a solid, entertaining release. The production is nice and crisp and the songwriting delivers plenty of sweeping, epic keyboards and genre paradigms (especially the album’s second half) such as “On Dark Wings They Soar”, “The Presage of Eternal Fire” and “Luciferian Dawn”.”The Fall of the First” is a slower, more moody number with some clean vocals, but is a welcome break from the pretty relentless bombast, as is interlude “The Black Wraith Ascends”.

The album, while not among my elite picks for the year’s best Symphonic black metal (AARA, Lamentari, Marasmielli , And Oceans etc), it’s right there with bands like Argesk, Drakonis, Northwind Wolves, Welicoruss or label mates Scuorn as far as very competent and enjoyable throwback symphonic black metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 22nd, 2020


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