Every new form of music eventually disappears into the background to be replaced by something new and fresh, yet gothic rock seems to keep raising its head above the fog to remind us it’s still there. It’s time to see what CVLT OV THE SVN have parted the clouds for with their debut LP, ‘We Are The Dragon’.
The title-track opener softly plods with rock riffs and fuzzing distortion that don’t really pack a punch or a deft touch of emotion as the “We are” line is repeated constantly as though it’s meant to impart some type of intimidation.
Follower ‘My Venom curtails to demonic realms with a better aggressive edge of guitars and riffs, but everything is reigned back when their anonymous frontman and visionary steps forward to croakingly whisper another incantation into our ears which is in keeping with the dark mystical atmosphere.
Mixing eighties pop with alternative rock, ‘Hellbound’ traverses a delicate line that swerves between overbearing cheesiness and catchiness as a combination of backing choirs and keyboards add an extra layer to the hard rock forefront.
The inevitable throwback comes in ‘Luna In The Sky Forever’ (also the title-track to their 2019 EP), which refers to the Roman goddess who personified the moon, with dated keyboards and synths which is a normal mainstay of gothic rock. Sadly, it doesn’t add any extra magic or inspiration.
By this point, even ‘The Pit’ is more of a tame copy and paste beast that lacks any claws or fangs to really get the heart pumping, as dull bass lines are accompanied by one hit chords that lack any originality or purpose.
There are a few good moments on ‘We Are The Dragon’ when you feel like that the pace might pick up to a point when you can start tapping and shaking, but everything keeps getting pulled back to let the vocalist to recite another spell or poem. It soon becomes a bit of a bore as it continues down the same pattern.