Coming to us from an undisclosed location (though going by the track titles, it’s probably Sweden), this debut album from the duo of SOV comes with six tracks of rawly-produced black metal. At just twenty-four minutes total, it feels more like an EP, but it still works as an introduction to the group and their nerve-jangling musical mood swings. Sudden interruptions of the standard drum-thrashing and rapid-fire guitar for moments of calm before spurting back into the wilder attitude are one of the elements which keep the tracks unpredictable while the pair twists and carves their way along, though there’s a grounding line even at their most manic.
Some industrial touches (e.g., looping, heavy staccato drumming, broad flanging) are among the other pieces making up SOV‘s bundle of violent noises, while the growled-word bridges bring a neo-folk flavor to the table. At their most reckless, SOV and their pounding call up the spirit of early Norwegian black metal (made all the more believable by that afore-mentioned lo-fi quality), but in the alterations they make elsewhere, they show a sense of the experimentation that’s been done with that foundation in the days since it was first laid out on the world.
From opening track “Horor och Charlataner” on to the last, “Ty sublim är den svarta ängeln”, the band does a good job of trying out new things without going off of the rails in doing so, something they might not have managed had the release been stretched to longer duration. And by keeping it short, there’s more reason for those who dig this first effort to tune in whenever the next one shows up, so, as with the production, it seems like a calculated move towards something that many might see as a failing. However it plays out, it’s a striking debut, and one which holds a lot of promise for the future of SOV.