Microdose: Svartgren, Scissorfight, Nephylim & Blood And Brutality

Written by Carcassbomb

Four good albums, four mini reviews. A bit of everything. This week it’s a bit more of a drastic variety with a combination of raw black metal, death metal and fucking Scissorfight. The 2019 ones were released as recently as December so dig in.

Svartgren – Divlja Vatra (2019)

Straight into the shit, that’s what I like to see. No opening gimmicks or intros, just an opener that showcases the album. Svartgren play raw black metal which is a genre widely mistranslated by amateur projects as “make everything sound shitty” whereas this album shows that a level of clarity in production can help bring forth the raw message and ideals presented within the album. The guitars bring more melody than you’d expect from the raw genre, verging on the side of DSBM without fully crossing over. It’s a dynamic black metal album with solid mixing that lets the guitars shimmer through bleak dimensions wherein the vocalist lies cursing the world. The tones can vary a lot which makes the album more interesting, the drum opening on “Usidren” for example, offering a lot of intrigue as well as the ever shifting guitars between lows and highs. Many raw black metal albums suffer from one-toned albums that are very boring, I don’t often cover the genre because of the amount of just below-average music there is that are all muddy tremolos and no play.

I’m glad I gave this one a go because there’s definitely a higher level of quality across the board here. The album art is incredible, coming from the current vocalist of Gorgoroth, Atterigner (Khaos Diktator Design) who has done a lot of awe-inspiring artwork, check that link.

If music to smoke beers to is your thing, then you’ll find kinship with Scissorfight who provide exactly that and without distraction. This is a pure distillation of that idea. It’s currently available on Vinyl and CD via Salt Of The Earth Records.

Scissorfight – Doomus Abruptus Vol. 1 (2019)

Scissorfight are back with a fresh LP, their first in over a decade and since reforming in 2016. Described as “acid mountain rock” or “speedy doom”, they are making a comeback with a true to form album, one that’s as amusing as it is catchy. Heaps of southern riffs accompanied by quotable lines such as “”Born on a mountain, raised in a cave, fighting and drinking is all I crave” and “Give me rock or give me death”. The opener Caveman Television is a strong start that will give you a pretty good idea of the tone of the album, though the formula does vary quite a bit between tracks, with some being doomier or thrashier than others. It’s a good mix that keeps the flow going and it never meanders, this is a fast paced record with sensible track lengths. This is a good one for fans of Clutch, if they sang exclusively about sasquatch, mudflats and drinking in the woods.

Nephylim – Severance of Serenity (2020)

This album is all together the classic melo death sound. If you blindfolded me like the pepsi challenge I’d probably tell you this album was made in the early 00s. I don’t mean that as a slam by any measure, it’s an epic sound that carries a lot of emotional weight to it and as the bands debut LP it’s a solid effort. 51 minutes of traditional melo death accentuated with acoustic guitars and a narrative of misery. It gets very doomy at times but before it can ever dip too low it drives back up in a gothic metal fashion – this very much takes inspiration from bands like Amorphis, Swallow The Sun and Paradise Lost. Considering it is a debut LP, it’s impressive and shows space that will be filled with more nuanced ideas as they progress through their songwriting over the coming years. They could very easily become a big element in the melo death scene, the base is there and it’s addictive as is. My favorite part of the album is the guitar work which really has a knack for weaving a story instrumentally, it always fulfil the call to duty of bringing the sound to new heights of melody.

The cover art was done by KAAMOS Illustration and it does it’s job, it fits in with the general theme and early 00s vibe.

I can’t quite hear the bass, I think it more or less plays what the guitar plays while the drums are very good and help keep everything together. I think a better job on the mixing would elevate this so much and be the difference between sounding like a hobbyist project or sounding as good as an entire band. I’m not familiar with the rest of the bands work but the experience does come through in the coherent songwriting. 

Blood And Brutality – Fatal (2020)

A brand new American death metal album that changes just enough to be a worthwhile listen. It’s on the thrashier side of the genre but also has nice guitars that “clean up well” as my grandmother would say. This is very much classic Death inspired death metal, with that little bit of progressiveness to it and a sense of speed. This is a solo album from the band’s vocalist/drummer and considering that, it’s really bloody good but alas one person cannot be perfect at everything. The vocals struggle to gain momentum and are often completely drowned out by the guitars which are the loudest thing on the album. The vocals at least provide a clean lyric delivery and maintain a sense of timing.

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