“Death is an icon and reflection of your own panic of losing whatever it is you grasp on to in order to feel alive – your reeking pile of dogma and lies like spirituality, identity, and self. You are nothing!”
If we erase the reactive tone of youthful nihilism from this leading statement via Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel-based black metal quartet Svpremacist we are presented with an especially Pyrrho-esque or, zen-sceptic primer for impermanent empowerment per our entrance into their speed metalpunk-shocked primitive extreme metal brutality on this debut full-length ‘Meaningless Death‘. There is a certain fountain of youth available to those musicians willing to regress to this point of mid-80’s enlightened defiance, a mere inkling of damnation realized too late with consideration for humanity, which is yet available only to those elite who’d engage the most primal, timeless reactions to cheap, meaningless existence. Though this album is a light engagement at just under a half hour and certainly a debut in terms of unified songcraft the capture of rawest thrashing black metal inspiration available here is entirely notable.
Formed between members of Deathsiege, whom you should know, and Scud (whom you probably don’t know) and various other Israeli extreme metal/punk troupes you’ve likely not heard of Svpremacist spoke to part of me which idolizes the first Nifelheim record by way of their first EP back in 2018 (‘Black Fuck You Metal‘) and this’d been compounded by the addition of the ‘Book Burner‘ EP that same year. The gravel-whipping bestial black/thrashing wrack of those records lands somewhere between the punkish sledge of Slaughter and Hellhammer inspired bands circa post-1985 North America/Europe as well as the ripping black/speed metal out of South America during that same time period a la Vulcano, Reencarnacion, Sarcófago et al. From my perspective this nulls a lot of the comparisons to Aura Noir available and allows for us nowadays engaged folks to hear some influence from present day revisionist Chilean and Australian black-thrashers. The gist? Svpremacist play raw and violent ‘old school’-thrashing black metal which does a fine job showcasing the sub-genre’s most key ingredient: Defiance.
The first note I’d taken amidst the whirlwind of mouth noise intros and harrowing kinetic storm of riffcraft available was a pause to appreciate the satisfyingly percussive and muscularly clanging bass guitar tone. There is a certain elevation of violence created when the bassist is presented at slightly higher than standard volume in the mix and with a glassy yet distorted punch-tone to force home these aggressive and often multi-directional pieces from Svpremacist. Of course the riffcraft is a unique mixture to consider and this provided a bit of a puzzling tonality to start as they swing from death/thrash riffs you’d hear on the most violent works of early Massacra and then others which have the Destruction-esque runs of Iron Curtain-era thrash (“Godkiller”) in the late 80’s as they discovered black and death metal. Opener “Witches” blends both of these ideas with a punkish bridge and somewhat quick exit, emphasizing the impact of each riff but moving on quickly within a dense but not so tense three minute ripper to start. Side A continues to up the ante in terms of speed until the sweaty apex of “Under Siege” gives way to a slightly more nuanced and paced-out Side B. ‘Meaningless Death’ does blaze by too fast but, not without clearly stated conviction.
“Spawn” is simultaneously a prime showcase for the impressive rhythmic feats available within Svpremacist‘s repertoire and a bit of an annoyance with gasping mouth noises, meat squishing and whispering featured in the intro to the song. On one hand this is a sort of ‘Pleasure to Kill’ sort of moment for the album which reigns supreme and on the other hand the heavy breathing shit to start is in poor taste. One of the best moments on the album comes around ~3:20 minutes in where the vocalist signals an collapsed orgasmic version of the main rhythm which’d sent my mind to the early 80’s hardcore punk influences found on the mid-80’s extreme metal albums they’d inspired. “No Life Matters” acts as reinforcement for this vibe and is well-placed right after “Spawn”, keeping the momentum up and expanding upon some of the metalpunk ideals briefly expressed on “Witches” and “Under Siege”. From that point Side B merely exhausts the possibilities towards the ‘I.N.R.I.’-esque with two more pieces before ‘Meaningless Death’ ends.
The full listen certainly comes together into an impressive and truly ‘underground’ feeling debut, all the while sporting a serrated logo from Rok and an album cover from Nox Fragor Art which work together in intense harmony to conjure an eye-and-ear clutching, covetable event. Svpremacist are a fine example of a band with solid taste and great potential as artists who’re just breaking into their own skin, we get more than a hint of their own curated style here on ‘Meaningless Death’ but there is an inkling in the back of my mind that they’re still working on the ideal ratio of forms and this sort of output will become even more distinct over time. A moderately high recommendation.
|RELEASE DATE:||November 5th, 2021|
|BUY & LISTEN:||Bandcamp|
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