S.V.E.S.T.1 is one of the very, very few bands around that one should feel sure of calling Satanic. This is not to say that the writer is aware of the degree of sincerity of a devotion to religion, ideology or spirituality of the band members in their life beyond the artistic, but that the music appears redolent of a conceited and well-planned journey into darkness. A path that would perhaps lead many to madness or at the least illusion but which remains highly logical to the mind and body ready and able for it. The music and their expression is stripped down yet highly expressive, allowing for an established black metal aesthetic to serve as vocabulary for eloquent tongues to express their own experience in pondering, imagining, or living —who knows?— a more vivid, rawer and perhaps truer existence, closer to what really is without abstractions.
There appears to be an inspiration that could base this music in a space somewhere between the raw mentality of Hellhammer and early Bathory, while learning from the experience of more complicated elaborations that were made possible later during the early nineties. There is more use of the high-pitch melody and the second-grade Norwegian power-chord phrasing, concentrating everything in a kind of monophonic texture. Despite that, and no matter what other comparisons we may draw, S.V.E.S.T. appears fairly independent of any particular influence apart from its allegiance to black metal. It extends number of repetitions with changing chord backgrounds, guitar expressions or drum patterns, thus creating a heightening sensation within a single riff; it advances either to a highly-related section, or introducing a new concept as a new episode, which when inspected up close usually reveals itself as related in one way or another by motif.
While the band does not have a strongly defined melodic personality that jumps out as differentiated, it does show a strong character and sobriety through destruction through the organized and controlled way in which this maelstrom is wielded. Rather than madness itself, this is the lonely superhuman treading through inhospitable territory, living nightmares in the flesh, commuting with demons, challenging god and taking for himself what seems fit. S.V.E.S.T. brings in Scarification of Soul an example of metaphysically pure black metal that may sometimes slip into different rock-isms nonetheless subsumed under black metal expression, but which ultimately unifies the whole under strong sound themes. As such, this is not only a viable future and exemplary standard-bearer of the musical genre, but also as the black art it constitutes in the occult sphere beyond the merely sensual or technical.
1 Satanas Vobiscum et Spiritum Tuo.