Although Norway has always been the spiritual home of black metal, Sweden has got a claim on the crown, for every Darkthrone and Mayhem, there is a Marduk and Bathory. One band who have thrown their hat into the Swedish ring are Ultra Silvam with the Swedes delivering their sophomore ‘The Sanctity of Death’.
Instead of sticking to that obvious second wave black metal sound like so many of their peers with ‘The Sanctity of Death’, Ultra Silvam deliver one which is very much in that early first wave style. What the band show is a real nostalgic sound, yet one which doesn’t stick to just their influences, ‘The Sanctity of Death’ has this band being their own person to the table. To achieve this sound, Ultra Silvam drive forward with an unabashed aggression where tracks such as ‘Black Soil Fornication’ and ‘Sodom Vises Himlafärd’ don’t just have the power of Bathory, but also Mortuary Drape, Sorhin and Watain.
With its raw production, ‘The Sanctity of Death’ is a head and shoulder above its predecessor and this album does exactly what it needs to do without ever over-stretching itself or trying to be something it isn’t. Ultimately, this is a top-quality black metal album that keeps one foot in the modern whilst yanking on the heartstrings of nostalgia to create something which is truly phenomenal.
"‘The Sanctity of Death’ is a head and shoulder above its predecessor"
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