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Sarkevas - Woven Dark Paths

Woven Dark Paths
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 22 May 2023, 11:34 PM

SARVEKAS is a Finnish black metal band that formed in 2019.  ‘Woven Dark Paths,’ is their full length debut; they also released an EP in 2020. It wouldn’t be Finnish without atmosphere and ‘Woven Dark Paths’ definitely has plenty of that.  As a whole, it is a furious release that exemplifies the power and uncompromising nature of black metal but that famous Finnish melancholy is ever present and helps the song writing stand out not only because of their seemingly never ending urgency but because of the incredible balance this album has.  With that being said it isn’t really a depressing album, instead focusing on riff based metal that is more fiery than downtrodden.

It isn’t simple music by any means but it also isn’t overly complex.  It is dark, heavy, and at times brutal, but isn’t so raw that it can’t be enjoyed. Melody, speed, and groove all find their place within the songs.  There isn’t any one element that stands out…and not because of lack of talent but because the songs are just pieced together so well. ‘Rite of Transcendence,’ is the intro track but is better suited to its album than most bands are able to pull off.  This keyboard driven introduction has an organic feel to it, building up to the meat of the album in a natural way without spoiling what is heard but still building that much needed anticipation.

Just as it ends, the flash and fury of ‘The Scryer of Bones,’ launches the blackened metal missiles upwards.  A huge scream sounds off just before the lead guitar races through the riffs.  An energetic groove rips through the structure while the excellent blackened screams provide the underground edge.  The song doubles down on its speed before slight atmospheric touches mix against the riffs, like a ghost passing through a warm body. ‘Embers of Pagan Fire,’ begins with an explosion and doesn’t let up.  The drumming goes from hammering to dropping bombs upon the Earth in unbridled fury.  I love the vocals through the song, just brutal in their own way.  The riffs are massive and provide much more than just the standard inane black metal riffing—the guitar has a true purpose.  A somewhat folky melody grows into the song around the halfway mark, seemingly coming in and out of the riffs as needed.

The title track is one of my favorites on the album—-it just has this wide open sound that is still immediate.  This is one of the most straightforward songs on the album but I welcome its passion for providing blackened devastation.  This one has a more traditional vibe and is a burner through and through. The last track is the cold and desolate ‘The Great Winter.’  The freezing atmosphere provides an excellent location for the vocals to do their magic, all these elements coming together like a musical blizzard that is so cold it burns. SARVEKAS’ ‘Woven Dark Paths’ is a black metal album that is a blast from beginning to end.  It is aggressive enough for black metal fans but has more than enough atmosphere to satisfy those looking for something more from their black metal as well.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Rite of Transcendence
2. The Scryer of Bones
3. Of Bloodlust & Nightside Sorceries
4. Embers of Pagan Fire
5. Woven Dark Paths
6. The Austerity of the Northern Lands
7. Soaring over the Battlefields
8. The Great Winter
A.A. - Drums
J.L. - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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Edited 05 June 2023

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