Released: 2014, Svarga records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Inspired from the Ukranian landscapes, Stryvigor’s debut release Forgotten by Ashes, explores aspects of nature and mysticism within their tightly forged craft that begun in 2012.
‘In the Icy Embrace of the North’ does exactly what the name entails as the synth swept coldness brushes past to shivering effect that sets the mood for the rest of the record as ‘Mysteries of Darkness’ unleashes the band’s raw Black Metal noise. Full of chaotic drumming, cathartic sounding guitars and unyielding shrieks, the band’s perfectly honed style is prevalent right from the outset.
Showing no sign of slowing down, ‘Wherever the Stars’ barges forward with the same level of severity as the guitars and drums hammer away endlessly. The track reveals a quality control aspect within the song writing as the symphonic textures pull you further into a vacuum of unfathomable depths.
From here the record remains fairly consistent with the constant sub zero temperature remaining intact. The technical drum work of ‘Memory of Ages’ marks this as an all out high point in the record along with the scattered melodies found within ‘To Heroes’ becoming the band’s most meticulously carved offerings.
The closing track, ‘Forgotten by Ages’ works as reflective glance back at the first track with the emphasis being wholly instrumental which provides a strong essence of continuity and wholeness to the overall experience.
With little in the way of criticism, this debut album delivers all the best attributes of any decent black metal release. From its heavily amplified ferocity to its bleak sounding tapestries; this descent into the freezing forest will not only get you reaching for an extra layer of clothing but will also mark itself as one of the best albums of 2014.
Review by Ben Spencer