CD Reviews > Svyatogor

Svyatogor - Dr. Veritas

Music really is the universal language, and nowhere is this demonstrated better than the third album from Svyatogor, Dr. Veritas. The eclectic mix of songs run the gamut from Black Metal to jazz-infused influences (and some include violin and saxophone along with traditional Metal instrumentation), and lyrics – written in a mix of Russian, Ukrainian, English, and French – explore a wide variety of subject matter, from societal problems, human emotions, history, the structure of the universe, and macrocosm.

Hailing from the Ukraine, Svyatogor are: vocalist/guitarist Arius, Master Alafern on both guitar and violin, bassist Duk, and drummer Amorth I.M. Even though “Dr. Veritas” was recently released, the band is reportedly already hard at work on their fourth album.

“In Memory of Fallen Heroes” is a fitting intro into this musical journey, the song is both multitextured and grandiose. “Word hard. Eat. Watch.” starts out like a vintage scratchy vinyl disc, then it’s permeated by a carnival/circus atmosphere before launching into the song itself – a song that showcases gravely growls against musicianship as solid as a brick wall, with brief clean-vocal shouting at one point. I love the riffs in the powerful “The Manifesto”!

The “Dr. Veritas” title track has a creepy feel – like being trapped in a mad scientist’s laboratory. “Nor Fire, Nor Sword” did however feel like the clanging of steel on steel. “Awoke Incoming (Antarctic Solitude)” is an ice-cold avalanche. A wonderful bass-driven intro brings us into “Spit & Forget” – a dark abyss of a song that is also highlighted by rapid-fire percussion.

The excellent “Inevitability” reminds me a lot of Dimmu Borgir – it’s deep and elegant, with wonderful deep, clean vocals in one point, and a nice melodic break. A gorgeous atmospheric intro features spoken word vocals before launching into the body of the complex “La Concupiscence” – it goes in a myriad of musical directions. “Reincarnation of Thoughts” is definitely different than the other offerings on the album – it features jazzy elements and interesting structures.

~Athena Schaffer