Every so often a solid slab of black metal comes to smash other bands to bits. Such is the case herein and it is but the work of one man. All of the music has been composed, performed, mixed and mastered by Swedish native Rickard Törnqvist.
Devil’s Blood is the debut release of his project Svartkonst. 10 tracks on the album. What’s amazing is that he’s done this album alone.
Svartkonst has crafted an album that is just about as good as modern black metal gets. The production and mastering are done respectfully to maintain the album character and yet it’s not over or under-done.
The tracks range in length from 2:34 to 7:07. While there are plenty of parts involving tremolo picking and blast beats, it is clearly more of a concern for Svartkonst to create his own voice through memorable songwriting. He’s taken clear influence from the old and new black metal as well as a bit of thrash and death metal for good measure. But the quality of Devil’s Blood really stands apart from many other releases that have come out recently. Now, I’m not quite certain and perhaps Svartkonst isn’t necessarily “mindful” of this, but it would almost seem that one of the distinct features of this composition is the back and forth between minor chords; that even as opposed to mostly going from major to minor and so forth. But again, I could be wrong.
While obviously maintaining a solid foot in the black metal realm, often Svartkonst’s Swedish death metal roots show on occasion. It’s not so much the down-tuning but the Entombed-like drum fills and to a lesser-extent, vocals. There is even almost a Sabbath-sounding influence with some of the single-note picking in a track like “I Am Nothing.”
At the end of the day, this is an outstanding black metal release, pure and simple. Highly recommended for fans of new and old school alike. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what Svartkonst has in store next.
At the time of this review, Devil’s Blood is available as a digital-only release. However, keep your eyes peeled as a vinyl release is imminent.
- Black Light Burning 02:34
- The Drought 05:53
- Merciless Death 07:07
- Devil’s Blood 04:33
- Taste of Bitterness 03:23
- Flames of Salvation 03:28
- I Am Nothing 05:11
- Ashen Hunger 05:35
- Cloven Hoof 04:04
- En Sten Föll Från Mitt Bröst 03:20
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