Thousands more eyes set their gaze upon the works of Swartadauþuz as 2019 has brought into broader view his tireless perfection of a profoundly consistent atmospheric vision between nearly twenty projects. The Swedish artist’s undertakings often peak in concept and quality as ‘good years’ of great boons, such as 2014 and 2017, but 2019 has found a focus upon quality and impact (rather than quantity) between the glorious atmospheric death of Musmahhu and the much heralded immensity of Gardsghastr; This latest project in hand is purposely focused upon the acts of the ancient ones, but perhaps not pandering nostalgia so much as spiriting their old waves. Blue, black and silver streams from the most gracefully atmospheric magistrates of second wave of black metal within Sweden as Greve and this we (should) already know is Swartadauþuz‘ most potent strength. The two roughly seven minute offerings on this debut 7″ EP, ‘Nidingsdåd utav det Uråldriga’, are accounts of glory and an appropriately dark austerity that is achieved with use of old and hidden works of the artists past.
Side A, “Domedagens Renaste Profet”, was written back in 2007 from an unreleased full-length entitled ‘I Skuggnornas Mörker’. Side B, “I Svarta Solens Magi”, was written in 2016 and comes as a re-recording from an album entitled ‘Nordarikets Strid’. I’ve no idea of the specifics of these releases or past projects despite doing a fair amount of research online. Pulling from Swartadauþuz‘ backlong of work isn’t a terrible idea as his output as Ancient Records has been largely celebrated, even outside of Sweden, for years now. Having worked together on several distinct releases since at least 2012 the inclusion of vocalist Lik (aka Likpredikaren) once again bears notable results as they’ve collaborated on Musmahhu, Summum and Demonomantic as well. Who? If you’ve been scratching your head throughout this review and aren’t yet familiar with any of Swartadauþuz‘ oeuvre you’ve stumbled upon one of many high points that offers a quick and accessible example of his atmospheric talents.
Exciting as the revivification of atmospheric and oft ‘symphonic’-tinged projects is, it becomes a bit of a wonder that Swartadauþuz’ esoteric and intense discography hadn’t seen greater notice sooner. A closer look at his internal philosophies and creative modus there hasn’t been any great push towards anything but independence until savory enough characters would approach with licensing deals. As much as I’d like to point towards acts like Vargrav or Ringarë today for keyboard driven atmospherics their focus is often more aligned with Norwegian or cumulative atmospheric black metal ideologia, something Gardsghaster covers extensively, whereas a tendency towards classic Swedish style is more in order with Greve. Though there are some vibrant similarities on hand between ‘Nidingsdåd utav det Uråldriga’ and Noctes ‘Pandemonic Requiem’, Abigor‘s ‘Nachthymnen (From The Twilight Kingdom)’ they are both very limiting comparisons that had much more influence from the melodic death scene of the mid-90’s.
The atmosphere is Swartadauþuz’ signature at this point though he’s broken no mold, the appeal is his capability when directing swells of heavily layered ethereal synths into a heavily melodic and driving force for each of these songs. These two pieces might’ve been composed a decade apart but they are admittedly similar performances and can be considered related by both implementation and overall experience. A reasonable expectation for ritualistic recordings aimed at full view of the moon herself but I’d wonder how an impending full-length would fare across 35-50 minutes. Why prattle on forever about a fourteen minute EP incessantly? ‘Nidingsdåd utav det Uråldriga’ is captivating and heavily repeatable as a listening experience. The synths were enough to keep me entertained for several days worth of listening and I’d found myself very well entranced by even just these two songs. This could speak to some inexperience with certain venues of pre-trend atmospheric black metal but I find the prospect of further Greve material an event to look forward to. Highly recommended.
Tiggaren och galgen. 4.0/5.0
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