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Last year, I wrote at length about the then-current state of mysterious Ukrainian solo project svrm, fueled by my love of the project's special blend of aggressive bite and lush atmospherics. It's been five years since the birth of the project, a span of time which has seen a number of demos and EPs and one full-length, all of which comprise a top-notch discography in the atmospheric black metal realm. Then, last month, svrm bundled every song released under the name into one big compilation via the newly formed Vigor Deconstruct label -- this was a great move indeed, and as I wrote last year, this project's discography offers an incredibly lucid view of a black metal artist's progression and evolution toward fullness and richness and is best enjoyed front-to-back. Now, with 2020 looming just over the horizon, we await svrm's second full-length Занепад (which roughly translates to decline), releasing early January. Check out a stream of the album's third track below, a one-two punch of a song with an effervescent emotionality to boot.

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This project really has come full circle: "Позбавлення" showcases what made early svrm so great alongside what made the latest svrm perhaps even greater. The song (and the entire album) contains the well-paced surge of svrm's early work, brimming with oceanic intensity, as well as the more melodic songwriting which emerged from later releases. The result is an uplifting (read: energizing) feeling not quashed by any super-depressive overtones, despite those overtones certainly existing and painting svrm's music in the bleakest of greyscales. Занепад may be a pithy release, but true to svrm's style, the project has cram-packed as much vigorous tension and power into five short-format songs as possible. We're left with an album that is basically immune to overstaying any welcome while at the same time making its welcome something unforgettable.

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Занепад releases January 5th via Vigor Deconstruct.

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