Lvcifyre - Svn Eater (Dark Descent)

Satan shalt be brutal, but never same-y...
Release Date: 
21 Jan 2014 (All day)

I'd heard good things about Lvcifyre but hadn't heard a lick of their music up till now, which is always an interesting experience for a reviewer. I had a rough understanding that theirs was a black-blooded musick, but beyond that I had little idea of what to expect. 

For one, these dudes are heaps more serious than I thought they would be, given their name. Or maybe serious is the wrong word -- ambitious, is more like it. Not that a band named Lvcifyre couldn't, y'know, stoke my flames, but I was expecting to hear something more along the lines of down-n'-dirty proto-black metal. But the grim Londoners make clear their intent from the get-go, with nine-minute opener, Night Seas Sorcery, building atmosphere with easily the slowest tempos they show the entire record. After that, it's basically off to the races.

T. Kaos brings the pain with vocals that alternate between howling, scowling black metal and bellowing death. In fact, the blackened vocals are almost absurdly Norwegian, given that this is a band of Englishmen -- in one spot, I think I actually heard him growl something about "winds from the north." For the most part, however, he sticks to reverb-laden roars which, over the often repetitive blast-beats, give it a feel not dissimilar to that of Ævangelist -- the sound of some removed, emotionless, and inhuman force presiding over the relentless battery. 

And, after the opening track, the album is relentless indeed. On Liber Lilith, expansive passages over tireless double-bass ring with sinister chords before the blastier bits begin handing out marching orders. In Fornication Waters is a brute of a song, an onslaught of machine-gun snare from beginning to end, with a riff that seems to emerge from black ocean depths like some determined new species. Follower Nekuomanteion (say that five times fast) contains some of the most interesting compositions of the album, fashioning a hook of sorts around a compelling death metal riff in the style of Immolation and Gorguts.Fyre Made Flesh kinda sandbags itself with some obnoxious hardcore-style vocal deliveries, before sampling from the oeuvre of Mayhem-era Attila. Atonal solos spring up throughout, adding some texture, but my biggest problem with this album is the lack of differentiation between tracks. Luckily, on their own, nearly every track is pretty damn brutal and compelling, but nearly an hour of similar-sounding compositions -- like, very similar -- gets to be a bit numbing. Relentless? Yes. Relentlessly interesting? Not quite.