Svipdagr – To Torment the Men

 Possibly as the first metal band from Spain that really caught my attention, I’ve been a fan of Itnuveth ever since their first album and I’ve checked out each piece they’ve put out since. Their pagan black metal sound is very harsh and quite unique, but I’ve always wondered if the members of Itnuveth ever wanted to do something different. As it turns out, they do and it comes in the form of Svipdagr, and their upcoming album is a tasteful piece that shows these musicians are truly active in their scene and look to become better overall.

Trying to see the members of Itnuveth doing anything outside of black metal was a concept that was quite the headache for me simply because I couldn’t see it unfolding that well, and with this second band of Svipdagr, I needn’t worry about such a transition as what this project goes for is unrelentingly raw black metal. It’s not much of a change, but it’s enough to allow the band members to do a little bit more in terms of intensity with their sound, and “To Torment the Men” is a solid example of what a simple change of pace can create. A piece of over ten tracks is what we’re given with this piece, and even though there’s a good amount of fluff that added some really short tracks of ambiance and such in between the black metal, Svipdagr still did a pretty good job taking everything into account. “To Torment the Men” has an excellent sense of what it’s going for, and we get plenty of fast paced black metal with hardly any rest from this record to really give the whole of the piece a demonic energy that not easy to ignore. The whole of the album isn’t as gripping as I’d like for it to be, though, but in the end, I still enjoyed “To Torment the Men” simply because it’s a different take from a band that I’ve come to really enjoy. Practically the same vocals, guitars, etc., but it’s just different enough to where it feels new and interesting, and not just a full blown second Itnuveth.

Change is good for just about everyone, and that can really apply to a band that’s been doing the same style for years while also putting out new material every single year. The members of Itnuveth earned their rights to try and do more, and Svipdagr is an excellent choice to go with for the members’ experience. “To Torment the Men” is far from a great album, but it’s definitely a welcome change of flavor and pace that I’d be more than happy to revisit on a rainy day.

“To Torment the Men” releases soon!

LISTEN to Svipdagr’s debut album, “Black Verses”, on Bandcamp here.

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