Sivyj Yar, The Unmourned Past, Italy, Avantgarde Music, CD AV296 (2016)
This EP is really more like an extended single with two long songs of almost equal length. Straightforward melodic atmospheric BM with folk music elements is the order of the day here and the Sivyj Yar guys go on the attack with energy and relish. The band’s sound is thin and tinny for the most part and the vocals are faint but the drama and swagger of the music compensate for shortcomings in delivery. The first track quickly settles into a fast roaring beast, all steaming guitar noise roar, swelling rhythms, hard-working percussion that would be thunderous if the production on the recording had been better, and long surging instrumental passages escalating to a frantic climax. In its last couple of minutes the song builds up to an urgent, almost hysterical peak. The title track boasts more variety in its pacing and moods, with more post-BM influence, though when it’s fast it’s very speedy indeed, and as a result it’s a more complex wandering piece.
Both songs are technically good if not very distinct from each other and the one major thing that lets them down is the quality of the production. The sound is just so thin and the drumming comes across as very hollow when it should be full and thundering. The vocals are also very thin and ragged though the anguish and despair do come through. The title piece probably could have done with a richer, layered jangly guitar sound in its last few moments to lift the mood and intensify it for a grand finish. Apart from the thin sound, the music itself is often very good, with epic moments of high emotion and grandeur.
The EP is limited to a one-print digipak run of just 200 copies from Avantgarde Music.