A masked Scandinavian singing self-described ‘occult murder pop’, and an anonymous presence; this has led to plenty of intrigue as to what CVLT OV THE SVN are all about.
The anonymous mastermind behind this project had uploaded these songs in previous guises to the internet, and the response has been positive enough to lead to a debut EP, ‘Luna In The Sky Forever’.
We kick off with the title-track, an immediate song which seems to be the centre-piece of this project at the moment, assisted by a pounding stadium rock beat, driving synth patterns, and shimmering post-punk guitars. The underlying darkness is definitely conveyed, and we’re off to a strong start – a band like Ghost would be the more obvious comparison point.
But, unfortunately, what CVLT OV THE SVN lack at the moment is any subtlety, most notably in ‘The Murderer’. The lyrics are particularly contrived, too; here we see our masked friend trying outdo himself with every death metaphor. In this year alone, it’ll be hard to find a more comically over-the-top lyric than “He said bad things about me / So I stabbed him violently.” Woah, mysterious frontman of CVLT OV THE SVN. A little anger management wouldn’t go amiss, n’est-ce pas? Whether or not this is tongue-in-cheek will become more apparent with time, but some of this could certainly do with some more afterthought.
‘The Pit’ has a throbbing bass line and pounding drum beats, which maintains the immediacy of the title-track, but, again, it feels a little try-hard with the lyrical themes, which are about – you guessed it – how you’re going to die. Still, this EP’s biggest strength is that it will leave you with something to talk about, whether you love it or hate it, and if you persevere, you may even find these melodies creeping up on you at some point.
‘Whore Of Babylon’ is more traditionally metal sounding, and offers some variation, but this fails to have the same impact of the previous tracks. Ironically, you may be wishing for another over-dramatic lyrical couplet.
The blurb you can find online states that CVLT OV THE SVN “keeps the listener in a tight grip of anxiety, while embracing one with dark and twisted romantics”, but it may be a while until this is fully achieved. There’s certainly some potential here for this to be big, but parts of this are weighted a bit too far in favour of style over substance. ‘Luna In The Sky Forever’ is all-in-all a mixed bag to say the least.