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Gloosh – Sylvan Coven

Sylvan Coven
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 13 December 2021, 6:30 AM

GLOOSH is a one man black metal project from Russia that formed in 2019 by mastermind George Gabrielyan . " "Sylvan Coven," is their second full length album, in addition to also having an EP. I am impressed by the smooth flow of this six track, 47 minute long album.  Although it has its fair share of melody, the album as a whole is pummeling and fast paced. But from track to track, the album is well connected and the album truly sounds like a big piece of music instead of disjointed tracks that don't have anything to do with each other.

The compositions of the songs are very full too. Sometimes with one person projects, the sound is too focused on one area than others so it very obvious it is the work of one person. "Sylvan Coven," sounds like the effort of a full band whose ideas were all equally used. "Swampsong," starts the album off with a high speed attack that is drenched in seething rage. The drums are extremely focused to be played at such high speeds. The bass provides a much needed low end, especially when the guitars slow down. Having such a focus on bass gives the song, and the album as a whole, much needed weight and keeps it from sounding thin.

"Woodland Waltz," is solid all the way through but it gets ready interesting at the 4:12 mark when the song slows down and breaks up into a heavy but slightly melodic section.  The parts slowly change into more atmospheric tendencies as the bass keeps it moving freely. When GLOOSH focuses on creating such sprawling landscapes, the music becomes quite enthralling. "Hexenring" is a vicious song, uncompromising and unforgiving…..until about the 3:35 mark. The gears change and the music opens up to an epic passage that incorporates melody into the song while letting the heavier parts build up in the background. When the growls make their entrance, the whole song comes together as a wonderful mix of everything the band has to offer. Much like the previous song, post events are integrated well but the band never loses sight of the blackened portion. The song eventually leads into a galloping section that, in turn, leads into a frantic pacing that ends the song with a bang.

"Incantation," starts slower, choosing a thick wall of layered sound over some of the more primal leanings of black metal.  This approach works well because not only does it give the song a full sound but makes it immediate despite the slower tempo.  It also blends in well with the groovier sections that follow it.  The drums compliment the ebb and flow of the riffs and the vocals do the same for all aspects of the song. Around the six minute mark, an ambient finds its way in the middle of the chaos but doesn’t sound out of place at all.  This is probably my favorite song on the album—just a well done song!

The Mist Of Sleep,” has deadly vocals that are as venomous as the song itself—this one goes for the throat!  But GLOOSH still manages to inject primal but catchy energies into the song, a sort of dim melody that grows into the very fabric of the song.  The last forty-five seconds are pure hell, a battery ram that smashes the body to pieces. “Hyakki Yagyo,” has a creepy and dangerous atmosphere permeating throughout.  The riffs, vocals…just sinister as hell.  The clean instrumental parts at 2:56 mark and near the end starting at the 7:07 mark turn off the distortion but the vibe of the song remains the same.  A banger of a song to end the album on.

GOOSH’sSylvan Coven,” is a terrific black metal album that hits all the right notes for genre purists but is dynamic and atmospheric enough to please fans of other styles as well.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Swampsong
2. Woodland Waltz
3. Hexenring
4. Incantation
5. The Mist of Sleep
6. Hyakki Yagyō
George Gabrielyan – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Vladimir Udarnov – Drums (Session)
Record Label: Independent


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