reviews
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SVARTIDAUđI

The Synthesis Of Whore And Beast

Release:  April 30, 2014

Label:  Terratur Possessions

Avantgenre:  Occult Black Metal

Duration:  16:27

Origin:  Iceland

Official site:  None

Review online since:  21.01.2015 / 03:03:00

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One of the more interesting black metal bands nowadays is Svartidauđi, Iceland’s crushing yet atmospheric outfit. With their full-length Flesh Cathedral and surprisingly great demos, Svartidauđi has proven that they stand above the swarming mass of black metal mediocrity. Their growing discography, with such jewels as the mesmerizing "Sterile Seeds" from Flesh Cathedral, offers up only the best in atmospheric black metal, awash in occult symbolism, psychedelic undertones, and darkly alchemical prose. In their latest EP, The Synthesis of Whore and Beast, Svartidauđi offers up a short and concise aural grimoire, an invocation of primal mysteries delivered in the superlatively apt medium of black metal.

The first half of the record is "Venus Illegitima." Staccato drums and malevolent guitars start off this piece, with a sound reminiscent of Deathspell Omega, before launching into droning and hypnotic tremolo picking--definitely one of Svartidauđi’s many strengths. Wrenching vocals and walls of sound invoke the presence of the primeval goddess, Venus Illegitima. The embodiment of forbidden love, she is the untamed force of sexual lust, the primal force driving existence, whose mysteries were forced underground by followers of the younger Solar deities. The magnificent tremolo picking yokes the listener into meditative peaks and valleys, finally propelling the music into furious chaos.

The second half of the EP, "Impotent Solar Phallus," begins similarly to the first, however with a bleaker mood. This song explores the hollow hegemony of the Solar cults, who erected a static cosmic order by repudiating and disowning the feminine divine. These patriarchal cults favored dry metaphysics and abstraction, a sterile realm where the kuṇḍalinī śakti had no place. The tight and claustrophobic atmosphere expertly expresses the subject matter, with furious yet depressive instrumentation and howling, desperate vocal work leading to a slow and dispiriting outro. The Hindu Tantric phrase "Śiva is śava without Śakti" is illustrative here: without vitality and power there is no becoming or evolution, only a desiccated corpse of existence, an Impotent Solar Phallus.

With this short and concise pair of songs we can hear the ferocious battle cry of the repressed feminine principle, whose root mysteries have persisted despite the efforts of degraded and impotent masculinity to exile her. For the heroic few who dare to transgress the status quo, the mysteries of the goddess of desire promise power and enlightenment for both man and woman. An important aspect of Tantra is the focus on gendered dyads, represented artistically as the Wrathful Yoginī and Yogi, Śakti and Śiva, Wisdom and Compassion, whose mutual dance is the essence of enlightenment. Here it is the Whore and Beast, the heroic beings whose practice of the Great Work has transformed them into victorious divinities. Appearing as horrific monsters to the uninitiated, their monstrous forms invoke a primordial knowledge, the pinnacle of accomplishment. With this EP Svartidauđi has created another very solid release, whetting my appetite for future works.

Jackson



TRACKLIST:

01 - Venus Illegitima
02 - Impotent Solar Phallus

 

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