Two years after the release of one of the best demo tapes I listened to these past years, the Malmö based trio Ultra Silvam strike back with their first full length, The Spearwound Salvation, which will come out next month, on the 22nd of March. As their previous material, the album will be once again released by one of the best metal labels out there, the mighty Shadow Records.
I remember how awe stricken I was after listening to the demo when it first came out – 3 tracks of pure aggression and primitivism, blended with a huge dose of melody and super addictive riffs. I kept on wanting for more, hoping the band will soon release more songs in the same vein, as the 15 minutes of the demo were not enough for me.
And here I am now, finally listening to the band’s most recent release, the mind blowing The Spearwound Salvation.
And what a salvation that is indeed.
Due to a personal saturation with this genre I do not follow the black metal scene that much these days, but I keep an eye on some labels which I know still have interesting acts on their roster, bands which really stand out from the actual current.
This is how I discovered bands like Voodus, Plaguestorm or Ultra Silvam (just to name a few), Swedish groups with a different approach to black metal than most of their counterparts.
But what can be said of Ultra Silvam‘s debut LP, what makes it so special? To start with, it’s not long: there are only 7 tracks (well, 6 full songs and 1 short intermezzo), spanning for almost 28 minutes. The focus is placed on the music, so if you are looking for long songs to sink yourself into, go listen elsewhere. Heic Noenum Pax, the time is too short for slow, mellow moments…
Do you remember that album which was released 33 years ago, and also lasted for almost 28 minutes? What was its name? Ah, Reign in Blood, yes. Comparing the two releases might be a bit outrageous, but believe me when I say that The Spearwound Salvation has many things in common with that album which changed the face of extreme metal back in the days. Now, in 2019, the impact cannot of course be the same, but what Ultra Sivam brings new to the game with their release is this freshness/new blood/we piss on your trends approach which many modern bands lack. Right now they are one of the most promising bands out there and they have the power to change black metal for the better, just give them some time.
The album basically follows the same pattern as the s/t demo, with the same structure of violent speed mixed with a generous amount of melody. From the opening title track to the last song on the record, The First Wound, you’ll discover some amazing parts of grim melancholy placed here and there, bringing some light in the overall darkness that enshrouds the album.
Like on the demo, the main catalyst are the insane guitar riffs which shred your brain from start to finish and the inhuman blast beats which pound in your ears like the hammers of doom. The rhythm is fast, almost super fast sometimes (I wander how many drum sets have been destroyed during the recording of this album), but there is a catchiness in these songs which makes them extremely addictive. You do not even realize when 27.57 minutes have passed and you’ll want to press play again. AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!
Somebody said at some point that black metal is not about riffs…Let me beg to differ and we have the proof here, with this album. These 3 guys took everything that was best from thrash, combined it with the murky atmosphere and primitive violence of black metal and the result is The Spearwound Salvation. Simple as that.
To keep their ties with the not so distant past, they even included (as track nr 6) the magnificent A Skull Full of Stars, presented here in a reshaped and extended version which is even better than the one on the demo (with some extra “noisy” sounds added as an outro).
The whole album is extremely “fluid” and the songs slide smoothly one into the other, creating this sensation of a black and violent vortex which hungrily devours everything in its path.
I am looking forward to the physical release of this album and I strongly suggest you keep an eye on it as well. As usual, it will come out in various formats (CD, LP and tape) which you can buy from here.
Also, keep and eye on the band cause most likely they will tour in support of the album and for sure we will hear more about them in the not so distant future.
I would very much like to see how the songs will sound live, considering there’s only one guitar in the band. But that remains to be discovered another time. For now, witness the Birth of a Mountain and support Ultra Silvam.
The Spearwound Salvation tracklist:
1. The Spearwound Salvation
2. Ödesalens Uppenbarelse
3. Birth of a Mountain
4. Förintelsens Andeväsen
5. Wings of Burial
6. A Skull Full of Stars
7. The First Wound
Ultra Silvam Line Up:
M.A. – Bass, Vocals
O.R. – Guitars
A.L. – Drums