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Xvarhnah – Crown EP

Published:

Last Updated on 07:35 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Atmospheric Doom/Black Metal
Country: Italy
Label: Depressive Illusions Records
Year: 2015

This Ep fused feelings of sweet melancholy. I am not aware if Xvarhnah deliberately gave this primitive, unadorned and old fashioned sound to their recording or if it was just a matter of other circumstances. Its sound took me back to the 90’s, when this genre witnessed often precious releases.

But, let’s get first things first. Xvarhnah is a trio from our neighbor Italy, with its band members being Veirg, an overactive musician, who is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, participating in many other Italian bands (actively in Astray, Suicide Emotions), singer Aeterna (Nahabat) and drummer Anamnesi. As it figures, Vreig has taken charge of almost every instrument in the band and the (blackish) vocals with the contribution of Aeterna in female melodic vocals.

“Crown” reminds us of some of the early works of Norwegian -mostly- bands (3rd and the Mortal, Dismal Euphony, Gehenna), while in some parts we can distinguish Anneke Van Giersbergen’s influence (in a somewhat unripe version) in the manner Aeterna is using her voice, while in other parts she manifests her operatic skills. The band’s distinguishing quality is the solid orchestration – good work can be evident even through poor production. Veirg and Aeterna team up harmonically to wed the synths, the lead guitars and the two voices with the rhythm section, producing a quite naturalistic result at the most part of the recording. The songwriting is far from simplistic, though there are parts, such as the refrain of “Crown” that are rather “catchy”. However, occasionally, the band left me under the impression that it lacked the required patience in order to harness their -many- ideas and that -inevitably- they were driven into exaggeration.

I am not aware if Xvarhnah is a project with a date of expiration. If the band wishes to optimize its’ definitely -for me- great potential, then it should be a full-time priority for its members. With a more “professional” production (the old school approach is romantic, still in the atmospheric/melodic area one must at some point also display clarity and massive sound in order to designate the orchestration) and by dedicating, without detachments, much time working on their songs, I am under the impression that this band could produce something truly remarkable.

4/6

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