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Svartsyn have always sported a unique sound compared to their contemporaries. While the bulk of the Swedish black metal scene went for a straightforward intense or melodic sound in the 90's, Svartsyn painted pictures of barren and desolate landscapes through a combination of repetitive riffs and unexpected hooks and twists. Latter albums saw some death metal elements making their way into the music as well when the technical twists became more prominent.
With 'In Death', sole member Ornias has taken a step back towards a rawer black metal sound. The twists and turns that gave Svartsyn's music its primary dynamics are buried deep within. It will take multiple listens to start elude what is really to be truly found on this one. Where previous albums hit the listener with an intense sense of desolation and withered wastelands, 'In Death' has a direct presence of no more than subtle unease. Stronger revelations of chaos and hopelessness does only hit the listener when another hook is discovered deep within.
For that reason, this might very well be Svartsyn's least accessible album to date, quite paradoxically given its comparatively straightforward core. It is difficult to pick any particular standout tracks from 'In Death'. As with the entire Svartsyn discography, this album is best experienced from start to finish requiring an undivided attention.
Svartsyn has always guaranteed two things: ugly album covers and awesome music. 'In Death' is no exception regarding either. This one does however require its fair share of spins, but it is a rewarding process. In my mind this album is already solid enough to be a worthy addition to Svartsyn's strong discography, but I am also certain that additional listens will reveal an even stronger potential.
also review of: Black Testament