Sivyj Yar take their name from an ancient Slavic deity, and are a Russian band that specialise in windswept pagan black metal majesty. Their newest record, ‘Burial Shrouds’, is out now on Avantgarde Music, and is forty minutes of Drudkh-inspired magic.
After the ominous intro with its tolling bell, first track proper ‘Burial Shrouds’ builds towards this sweeping frozen grandeur. Double kicks power the music along, while epic guitar melodies conjure up snowy wildernesses. Reminiscient of great works by the likes of Windir or Drudkh, ‘The Earth Breathes Sorrow’ ebbs and flows with soaring riffs and shrieking vocals. There is some delightful quiet moments where the true introspective nature of the band is revealed.
When you consider the overriding theme of ‘Burial Shrouds’ is the tragedy and suffering of the Russian peasantry, the melancholic nature of the songs seems more emotive, more affecting. Yeah, this is a piece of black metal that is in parts pretty fierce. But it is also a vast pagan ode to the peoples of Mother Russia and her frozen beauty. The aching ‘Like a Sparkle We Will Vanish into the Darkness’ and the truly huge ‘The Snow WIll Fall a Long While’ capture that mesmerising place between earth and sky, where lives are lived, lost and forgotten.
Sivyj Yar capture the ancient beauty of Russia and the frozen wilds perfectly in their music, and ‘Burial Shrouds’ is an album that fans of all metal should engage with if they can. Boasting a spectacular range and a depth of emotion, ‘Burial Shrouds’ makes you gaze out at the world with a wistful eye.