Release Title: Lupercalia
Label: Avantgarde Music
Genre: Atmospheric Black/Folk Metal
3. O Clitumne!
4. Hirpi Sorani
The debut full-length from Italian atmospheric black/folk metallers Selvans continues on the band’s recent string of utterly impressive and dynamic work in that particular genre. Released October 19, 2015 from Avantgarde Music, this follows up quickly from their EP earlier in the year with over an hour of finely-crafted and vicious keyboard-led symphonic black metal with many elements of traditional Italian folk.
This here is a wholly impressive and dynamic offering of atmospheric black metal that retains a lot of those particular trappings quite well. Centered around furious, swirling tremolo riffing and a truly relentless and violent drumming style, the main mix here is the dynamic and truly charging traditional black metal at play here which is all nicely overlaid with the absolutely vicious folk work on display. Ranging from traditional Italian folk instruments in flutes and pipes as well as nicely accented keyboard lines that can at times produce a more symphonic approach only through the grandiosity of the compositions despite still clearly playing folk patterns and arrangements, the whole approach of vicious, intense black metal is a considerable achievement that flows throughout the tracks here. This naturalistic approach, coupled with the majestic tremolo riff-work swirling around the material into extravagant epics of both melodic splendour and raging fury that is actually wholly impressive considering not only is this a debut offering but it manages to make this particular shifts in style sound organic as well as a natural part of the band’s sound which scores so well here. If the album could be faulted for anything it’s the utterly unnecessary and overlong epics that keep popping up in this one which really goes on for way too long at parts with it repeating sections or riffing wholesale simply to create the epic feel rather than just do it naturally the way the rest of the music does here and these can feel like it’s dragging in spots. Overall, though, this here is a very enjoyable release.
While it does get a little down at times here with the vastly overlong approach and could probably do with some tightening here and there, this is on the whole a very impressive debut effort that should be immediately looked into for anyone with any passing interest in symphonic or folk-inspired black metal, though those looking for more traditional share might also find something of interest here.
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