The Swedish orthodox black metal brand rose because people needed a label for music adorned in the style of Dissection, yet composed in shorter riffs and cyclic songs like war metal, with a strong cover story of Satanism to help obscure its anti-social and Darwinist positions.
Ultra Silvam comes to us from that mold, sounding a lot like early Watain with elements of Necrophobic, Dimmu Borgir, and Satyricon in the mix. Songs feature some expanded formats, usually by transitioning into atmospheric elements, but otherwise focus on short, fast riffs with melodic adornment in tight, simple songs.
They must call this “orthodox” because it is the opposite. Orthodox black metal would be the intricate, layered, and highly thematic compositions of Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Immortal, Graveland, and Emperor. This is more like the black metal style applied to fast punk songs with a strong pop sensibility.
Having thrown that out on the table, The Spearwound Salvation is like early Dodheimsgard, Watain, Aura Noir, or Nifelheim in that it is purely enjoyable and has none of the troubling depth of early Nordic black metal. It simply tells you that society is full of lies, so here is some infectious heavy metal at high speed.
This puts us in the duality of anything well-executed but hedonistic in appreciation, which is that it sounds good, has good energy, feels good to listen to, but may not call you back. In fact, that may be its charm: it passes like a quick summer rain, appreciated for a momentary distraction which is then forgotten.
Where The Spearwound Salvation stands above its competition is that these are actual songs, which start, cycle, possibly develop, and then finish. They convey complete emotional impressions, even if momentary ones. They are not just musically competent, but artistically competent, and fiendishly earwormish.
I miss the old black metal too. This cannot be that; it is, however, a breath of fresh air in the disorganized or homogenized material promoted by the “trve vndergrovnd kvlt” which sounds mostly like guitar practice to a fast metronome.