Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Pagan Black Metal
Label: Primal Relics Records
Sviatibor is the personal project of Thomas Hornstein (also in Nervengeist) from Albi, France. He formed this band just in 2013, but he has been quite over-productive since then, with several demos, EPs and 3 full-length albums already released! Actually he has almost finished his next album, which will be released this Spring. All Sviatibor’s full-length albums were released in 2014, beginning with “From Yav to Nav” in February, “L’Oeuvre de Rod” in April and finally “La Foi des Ancêtres“, released via Primal Relics Records in August 2014.
I think that the best way to describe Sviatibor’s music is pagan black metal with epic and atmospheric black metal elements in its sound. “La Foi des Ancêtres” includes 6 lengthy songs plus 4 shorter interludes, with a total duration of almost 58 minutes. The band’s music has a very sad and nostalgic mood, with epic atmospheric melancholic melodies dominating their sound. Synths are very important in their compositions, carrying out the majority of the wonderful melodies of their songs, while their guitars, together with the drums, take over the rhythmic parts of their compositions. The truth is that their rhythmic guitars are very melodic too and most of the time they are combined with the synths in very tight, almost monolithic result. The songs move between mid and slow tempo rhythms with some repetitive patterns that help the band create a bitter, almost depressive atmosphere. Except from some background recitations, vocals are black metal screams, sounding like a fierce echo from the past that fits perfectly with their music. In my opinion some clean vocals could fit in very well. The addition of acoustic instruments and nature sounds worked very good the band, making their sound more multilayered. For sure there are things that could be improved in the sound, but there is also no doubt that Sviatibor succeeded to create a very atmospheric and original album. Most of the lyrics are in French, while there are many parts in English too, as well as a few Russian verses here and there, inspired by the Ancient European culture, heritage, legends and mythology.
“La Foi des Ancêtres” is clearly Sviatibor’s most complete and mature work until the next one of course. I believe Sviatibor is a band that fans of atmospheric pagan black metal should keep an eye on them, since despite the 3 full-length albums, they are actually at the beginning. Apart from the digital edition, the album is also released via Primal Relics Records in a 2-panel digipak CD edition. Front cover artwork is by Patrice Hornstein, while the layout is designed by Thomas Hornstein and Nick Stanger. You can follow the band’s official pages below for more details and sound samples.