Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Svabhavat - Black Mirror Reflection


I think that one of the keys of black metal is the overarching sense of torment that the best bands in the genre exemplify. Black Mirror Reflection is an album that perfectly understands this, that goes howling into the abyss and screaming at a god who failed. There is a blissful and devastating magic behind this album and the more time I spend sinking my teeth into it the more I feel the real torment of the artists behind it. Wonderfully produced and marvelously bombastic, this is a wondrous exemplification of what black metal can be when done at the highest level. 

Though there are a few limitations here (Can we talk about how the devil on the album cover is doing jazz hands?) this is an intensely personal and powerful record. The raw chaos delivered on a track like 'Great Tiamat, Filled With Corpses' is terrifying and really speaks to the raw talent of the band as songwriters. There is a sense of mastery here that I think few of their peers can really live up too. The devilish conjurations of the guitars are epic, evoking blasted heaths and crying out to a God who failed. The internal turmoil portrayed here speaks to the soul, and though for many this record is so extreme as to be inaccessible, for the dedicated it's a look into the heart. 

I love all the layers on this record and the Lovecraftian magic of a track like Abhicaara. The searing guitars and shrieked vocals lay the groundwork for a band who are going to leave you grasping at your sanity. When you have this in conjunction with some stellar production and an incredibly tight rhythm section you are getting somewhere wonderfully weird. Black Mirror Reflection is an absolute monster of a record worth listening too again and again. This is gnawing and evil stuff, for the dedicated there is no better cure. 

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