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Skverna Liniya - In a Garland of Wax

Skverna Liniya
In a Garland of Wax
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 December 2021, 6:47 AM

SKVERNA LINIYA is a progressive atmospheric black metal band from Russia. They formed in 2020, the same year they released an EP. "In A Garland Of Wax" is their first full length album. This album is much more guitar oriented than a lot of other atmospheric black metal. The keyboards are also more detailed and involved. Because of these elements being so prominent, these songs are just as focused on being musically oriented as they are setting a mood or generating soundscapes.

"The Rustle Of Smoldering Life," begins with what sounds like sax but it could be keyboard effects; either way it sounds epic. When the riffs hit the landscape, the songs goes surreal; the style here is choppy and off rhythm….really threw me off, but in a good way. The keyboards definitely more on the prog side but more atmospheric than pretentious.  The ambient/key section towards the end is grandiose and ear catching—two things this album does consistency well.

"How Cold It Is. The Empty Soul Keeps Silence…" begins with a stark contrast between melodic riffing and blackened vocals. It is actually a great pair up and make sense despite their differences. At 2:22 a killer bridge hits the track with riffs and drums that made me head bang like it was 1985. Then a melodic section comes right after complete Gothic overtones with the spoke clean word. "Green Horror" is a huge wall of sound but multiple listens reveals itself to be a complicated beast due to its many layers. Balance shows through as well as this song is both light and dark. It has a cool effect where it fades out at one point before coming back strong and heavy on the black metal front.

"The Sunset Blazed Over The Madhouse…" is a tornado: the music swirls together to create a whiplash inducing dizzying effect. It is madness but done in an interesting way. The bass destroys its way to victory around the 1:30 mark as keyboards swoop in. This part is very consuming especially with headphones because it acts as if it is burying its way into your skull. "Interude" is, well just that. It is a pointless piece when you consider the following track, "In Forgotten Wild Spaces," is also an instrumental. It seems "Interlude" is for that said track but would have been better served as part of it and more fully integrated.

But this last track, "In Wild Forgotten Spaces," is one of the best instrumentals I've heard this year. The music is both potent and poignant–despite not having lyrics, I feel this song is a story or journey unto itself. SKVERNA LINIYA's "In A Garland Of Wax," is a well composed and unique piece of atmo black and firmly plants itself as one of the best surprises of the year.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Шорох тлеющей жизни (The Rustle of Smoldering Life )
2. Как холодно. Молчит душа пустая…(How Cold It Is. The Empty Soul Keeps Silence…)
3. Зеленый ужас (Green Horror)
4. Пылал закат над сумасшедшим домом…(The Sunset Blazed O’er The Madhouse…)
5. Интерлюдия (Interlude)
6. На забытых просторах (In Forgotten Wide Spaces)
Andrey Pospelov - Guitars, Bass (track 1)
Sergey Chirkov - Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Lyrics (track 1)
Record Label: Et in Arcadia Ego


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