It’s been already 10 years since the last work from the Ukrainian pagan black metal band Сварга (Svarga). They were formed in 2002 and released their debut full-length album “Символ Bолі” in 2003. In 2004 they released a remake of their demo EP “Явь Bоздымает” in CD format and after that the band was practically silent, since they only participated in 3 tribute albums, the last one in 2009. On September of 2014 though, they return with an almost entirely new line-up to release their second full-length album “Spirit of the Land” via the Brazilian label Fimbulvinter Productions.
If you compare the new album to their previous works, it would be very difficult to recognize it’s the same Svarga that released them all. Well, practically it’s not the same band, since only one member remains from back then, even though there is not much info about their line-up. Apart from the huge improvement in technical terms and the clearly better sound production, the band has also changed its music style following a much more straight-forward pagan black metal approach. “Spirit of the Land” includes 7 new songs, plus 3 bonus tracks (2 songs from “Символ Bолі” and a cover on Temnozor’s “Вранакрик” ) with a total duration over 53 minutes. In my opinion their heathen black metal has the perfect sound for the genre, based on their amazing guitars and screaming vocals. Without any bombastic synths or folk instruments, Svarga manage to create a very epic album with a really solid and powerful sound. Their guitars are very complex and technical, borrowing elements from several metal genres, ranging from melodic heavy to extreme aggressive black metal, combined with beautiful acoustic guitars in a very tight result. Bass lines are distinct and their drums sound very natural – the overall sound balance is great! Some songs, like the masterpiece “Пусть Закипает Кровь – Let the Blood Boil“, my favorite of the album, have a more epic folk approach, something that adds more depth and variety in their music. Their vocals are mostly passionate pagan black metal screams, with only a few epic clean male parts. All compositions are interesting with great balance between melody and aggression, but what’s most important in this album is its excessive passion and emotion. Lyrics are in their native language, but the vocals so expressive that you don’t have to know the language to get their meaning…
“Spirit of the Land” is a great recommendation to fans of pagan heathen black metal. Svarga made a really impressive comeback and only time will tell if they are here to stay. This album seems like a fresh start for them, so you better give them a chance like you are listening to a new band, no matter if you have listened to their music in the past! ”Spirit of the Land” is out by Fimbulvinter Productions in a standard jewel-case CD edition, as well as in a limited to 85 copies A5 digipak edition, both including a 16-page booklet. Artwork and drawings are by Tern Loge, while the design is by SchizArt. The booklet includes all lyrics and their English translations. You can visit Svarga’s and their label’s official pages for more details and you can get a first taste of their music in the short trailer below.