Have a listen to: "The Mind That Murders"
Sarvas – The Throne
Release Date: 12th April 2016
Combining acoustics, sludge and groove metal could be a melting pot of disaster for some bands. Fortunately, Finnish groovers Sarvas don’t fall into the ‘some bands’ category. Sarvas are not exactly the new band on the block either. Formed in 2012 and releasing their first self titled EP back in November ’13, Sarvas have returned with only 3 heavy as hell tracks clocking in at a hefty 28 minutes.
Long and conceptual songs that combine different elements of heavy metal is no easy task, and typically bands that do focus on longer songs may struggle to write a catchy single in under 5 minutes. Fortunately, Sarvas demonstrate that they can handle both types of song on this EP.
EP opener ‘Revelation/Apparition’ blends doom, groove and stoner metal, not masterfully, but well enough to keep you engaged for the remainder of the first track. The intro to the 8 and a half minute song sets off the sombre tone of the entire record; it’s a choppy ride transitioning between different segments of ‘Revelations/Transitions’ but come the end of the song you’ll be ready for another go around, trying to distinguish what you do and do not like about the track. I tell you, after a few listens, the good outweighs the bad.
Track 2, the more concise and incredibly catchy title of ‘The Mind That Murders’ runs at 04:49” and combines more thrashier and death metal rhythms but predominantly remains a sludge/doom track. Hooks-a-plenty and a great vocal line, not to mention some of the blistering drums fills. Definitely the standout track of the EP.
Sarvas’ 15 minute closer, ‘Steadfast’ is a long, slow journey. The band plods through more riffs that, if I’m totally honest are kind of indistinguishable and forgettable; that is until you reach the 5 minute mark and some melody starts coming into play. The thing that really vexed me about this track is that after 10 minutes the instruments fade out which sounds great, pretty dramatic. Then there’s nearly 2 whole minutes of silence until the song ends with some acoustics. In those two minutes of silence, nothing happens – I felt kind of robbed. I’m all for silences in music for a time because it can work on so many levels, a quick or long break between riffs can really add a dynamic to a song. This 2 minute blatant absence of music serves no purpose, which made the track overall pretty disappointing. Had the silence been 30 seconds, maybe a minute at a stretch then it may have made more of an impression. Even just filling out that 2 minute section with some ambience would have been great. Still, this was obviously a creative choice from the band and you have to respect that. But 2 minutes of silence? It just feels like a wasted opportunity to either make the song better, or make the song shorter. I know they aren’t the only band to do this sort of thing, but it’s always vexed me.
Overall ‘The Throne’ is an enjoyable trip worth your time. The production of the EP sounds great, there’s a great collection of riffs and the band seem like they had a good time creating it. They’ve got a way to go before they hone their craft, but I implore any heavy music fans to join them on their journey.