Swarth - Venificium1There seem to be a few bands at the moment going for the whole mysterious outlook (the most famous example being Ghost), but no one has managed to pull it off quite as successfully as Swarth. With no trace of any social media, press photos, bios or anything online. All the information I could find about them is that this two track 7” release on Iron Bonehead records is their fourth release following a couple of demos and a compilation in the last three years.

First thing that struck me is that despite the dark, atmospheric feel of the artwork, the tracks (to add to the minimalist information these tracks are numbered rather than named) soon settle into a pattern of relentless blast beats with deep guttural vocals almost a separate entity from the background noise. It sounds like a combination of Japanese cyber grind pioneers Catasexual Urge Motivation and goregrind veterans Mortician. Both tracks follow a similar pattern of a persistent vicious sonic assault before switching to a more haunting sound where the vocals to more of a troubled wail.

The production is echoey and bass lead, making both tracks sound like they have been recorded in a dark secluded cave rather than a recording studio, which given the secrecy surrounding the band, is a good fit. While not being completely new, its good to hear something that doesn’t necessarily stick to formulas that have been done time and time again. One of the more atmospheric releases I have heard so far this year.