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Erdve – Savigaila

by Leanne Evans at 18 September 2021, 6:22 AM

Devastating, punishing and extreme are just a few ways to describe the experimental Hardcore Sludge outfit ERDVE. The brutal Lithuanian trio delve into the ugliest aspects of society in their sophomore release “Savigaila”, which literally translates as “self-pity”, scratching your soul, ripping you from the inside out. Reaching abyssal depths, with concepts such as domestic violence, crimes against humanity, utmost disgusting behaviour and extremism, writing about such heinous aspects warrants only one outlet: pure aggression, blinding abhorrence and spitting rage, which ERDVE achieve at masterful measure.

Unleashing unbridled ferocity, “Lavondėmės” spews its hate in full-pelt rawness, ravaging with a compelling combination of Black Metal, Sludge and Hardcore, excreting its rage with an expulsion of explosive drums and searingly abrasive vocals. “Savigaila” starts as it means to go on, moving into the equally rage-fuelled “Smala”, with harsh sonorities aggressively chewed up, choked up and spat out, like a hairball of hate being regurgitated into your ears. The contrastingly downtempo “Votis” suffocates with its oppressive sound, yet still pierces with its brooding blackened throughput.

Listening to “Savigaila”, it quickly becomes apparent that ERDVE aren’t fazed by sound barriers and explore genre crossover fiercely. “Betonas” devastates with the savage sonics that entered our greedy lugholes in the first couple of delicious cuts, cranially-crushing with its violent hostility, exposing its ugliness and maiming with its cacophonous barrage of brutality. Reaching to the other end of the scale, “Pleura” punishes as an unnerving instrumental, even devoid of vocals, this track still simultaneously unsettles and penetrates your core. Moving back to that balls-deep, testosterone saturated rage, in bounds “Bendrystė” rabid and unbridled, engorged in furious drums and a creep of a dominating, oppressive sludge riff, all tied up with the grit and ferocity of Vaidotas’ abrasive vocals with a few gutturals thrown in for good measure. Seriously, ERDVE really nail getting down and dirty with their sonic exploration.

Whilst there is nothing delicate about this LP, ERDVE deliver plenty of precision executing their cuts. From the atmospheric lulling intro in “Sugretinimas” that builds to a searing level of insidiousness, through to the gut-punching title-track “Savigaila” shrouded in pain and hate in equal measure, the clever use of noticeably more forced and strained vocals reflecting this clear emotive aspect. Thus far, ERDVE have given their souls in fistfuls and it’s clear that “Skilimas” is intended to do just this. However, for the beautiful piano composition this track transpires as, it feels misplaced on such a deliberately disjointed and violent album, diluting the moreish abrasion too much for anyone’s liking. One must question why this composition was placed as the penultimate track, as opposed to being an eccentric bookend for the album. Still, Karolis’ skills as a talented pianist are indisputably top-notch, the sweetness of those keys are perhaps misplaced for such a mash-up of malevolence. However, “Takoskyra” strikes with hostility once more, with a slightly more melodic output to the riffs, yet still retains all the piss-boiling anger your cold heart could hope for.

Overall, ERDVE’s experiment of melding genres works brilliantly in “Savigaila”, and they’ve created a beautiful mind-bending assault that hits your dark sweet spot perfectly; long may this Baltic brutality continue!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Lavondėmės
2. Smala
3. Votis
4. Betonas
5. Pleura
6. Bendrystė
7. Sugretinimas
8. Pragos
9. Savigaila
10. Skilimas
11. Takoskyra
Vaidotas Darulis – Vocals, Guitars
Valdas Voveraitis – Drums
Karolis Urbanavičius - Bass, Piano
Record Label: Season of Mist


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