Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sarvas - The Throne (2016)

In actuality, there are five people in this Finnish sludge/groove act, but it only sounds like there are about three or four. That's not always a good thing, but it does make for a pretty solid listen here. You're definitely getting a kind of post-metal and doom mixture, which some tend to categorize as sludge for some reason, but The Throne is not all it seems to be on the outside. Deep within the recording we'll find a more Finnish take on the performance, which includes a bit of folky acoustic guitar. There are still some electronic soundscapes to be had (at least from the intro to opener “Revelation Apparition”) as we might hear from similar acts, but these Finns haven't forgotten where they came from, nor do they overload us with so much doom that it becomes tantamount to staring at a large rock. Tatu Hutri (lead) and Tommi Blum (rhythm) actually help to offset most of the pounding riffs that Jonne Kekki (bass) brings to the table, and it keeps the listen interesting. Samuel Lindroos (vocals) is a pretty one-dimensional frontman though, which is where I think some improvement can be had. Clearly there's a lot of technicality as well as some extreme metal injections being implemented into this thick and sludgy mess, but a gritty roar seems to be all of the vocal capability that Lindroos possesses and that can make things a bit dull. Even so, he does put a lot of passion into those notes, which definitely pack more of a punch when combined with the attention to detail from Hutri and Blum that I mentioned earlier. I think the EP will still come off pretty entertaining and rather damn fierce anyway, especially for fans of the genre like myself. While Sarvas aren't the best sludge act in the world, they're extremely far from being the worst, and I'd definitely recommend The Throne to anyone looking for something more from their sludge. It's safe to say that this is a step in the right direction and it gives the genre some well needed ingenuity.

(3 Tracks, 28:00)


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