Ultra Silvam - The Spearwound Salvation
Helter Skelter
Black Metal
7 songs (27:57)
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Ask a hundred different black metal fans for their idea of the perfect album and you'll get a hundred different responses; such is the breadth of the genre beyond such simplicities as blasting for Satan. Yet we do appreciate common elements and could probably come to agree on a compromise pick, and if you were to play The Spearwound Salvation for all hundred you'd be sure to get a vast majority giving the thumbs-up. This mysterious Swedish trio have come up with such a fun debut that it's hard not to love, an album that so wholeheartedly worships the riff and the blastbeat that it acts as a kind of evangelical sales manual for the genre as a whole. From the very first seconds onwards the band pound out a deliciously enjoyable mixture of old-school black metal a la Darkthrone and Watain that disdains frills and fopperies in favour of intensity and songwriting, the grim intensity of Förintelsens Andeväsen and A Skull Full of Stars especially invigorating.

At just under half an hour this barely has enough time to develop and yet it is the perfect length for an album this energetic and action-packed. The longest track present is closer The First Wound, trilling riffs galloping along atop a near-grinding backing, and the atmospheric centre section is truly gripping, a Drudkhian sense of melody making for a fine counterpoint to the sections where control slips and Ultra Silvam gallop out of control. And yet even shorter, blunter pieces like the opening title track are marvellous bursts of black fire, heart and soul devoted to the darkness even before that odd little solo makes its presence known. The smoothness of the seamless transition into the following Ödesalens Uppenbarelse would be impressive from a band many more years old; that the four-year old Ultra Silvam have pulled it off is both remarkable and entirely what you'd expect from a black metal act this razor-sharp. And the slower, almost 80s heavy metal section in the middle is as vital as the faster, blastier moments, one of several terrific points on the album where it seems to merge NWOBHM-esque melody and old-school black metal darkness in a way that if bottled would make for a truly poisonous perfume, along with the infectious drive of Birth of a Mountain one of many highlights. A wondrous find and a herald of further future greatness, Ultra Silvam have made one of the finest debut albums in recent black metal history, one of those albums that you stumble across and wonder why everyone else isn't discussing it. Remarkably good, a must-hear for old-schoolers and devotees of darkness.

Killing Songs :
Birth of a Mountain, A Skull Full of Stars, The First Wound
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Ultra Silvam that we have reviewed:
Ultra Silvam - The Sanctity of Death reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
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