Svyatogor – “Doctor Veritas”

Svyatogor – “Doctor Veritas” (Svarga Music)

Prepare yourselves for some Ukrainian eccentricity! Whilst Svyatogor have a common enough sounding black metal base, what is interesting is how they craftily mix in other styles like electronica, violins and even cabaret saxophones to take their sound more into theatrical horror metal. At times it’s pretty off the wall with hints of Celtic Frost but I have to commend the way the songs have been structured to always return to their main theme so it’s not like a jazz fusion session LOL! This may be because the main(?) guys in the band, Amorth I.M. (ex-DRUDKH, ASTROFAES) and Master Alafern (QUINTESSENCE MYSTICA, THUNDERKRAFT) seem to be pretty experienced as well as the fact that “Doctor Veritas” is Svyatogor’s third release, but their musicianship, as well as the album’s production, are without fault. Equally, vocalist Arius shows considerable dexterity in competently covering the full black metal spectrum from screams to rasps to haunting whispers on songs like ‘La Concupiscence’, ‘Word hard. Eat. Watch.’ and ‘In Memory Of Fallen Heroes’, the lyrics of which are written in Russian, Ukrainian, French and English! Given their location, I’m not sure how big Svyatogor are ever likely to get, but I have to applaud “Doctor Veritas” as a very brave effort, if anything for the way it pulls off its musical idiosyncrasies!

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