Following on from 2018’s crushing Vaitojimas, Erdve have returned with 43 minutes of new material. Savigaila contains eleven songs, compared with Vaitojimas‘s six, yet is only five minutes longer due to the overall shorter duration of the individual tracks.
Savigaila further develops Erdve’s crushing intensity into songs that pulverise and smash. Dark riffs, angular rhythms, and monstrous walls of guitars form songs that provide a modern blackened exploration of sludge and hardcore. Think a mix of Celeste, Botch, Leeched, Deadguy, and early Cult of Luna for a general idea of Erdve’s sound.
The album ebbs and flows across its playing time. With post-metal skill and blackened grace, the listener is taken on a journey across a range of sounds and hybrid styles, all intent on building a convincing world for the listener to navigate through. In this Erdve have succeeded, and Savigaila is immersive and engaging.
Despite the aggression that’s inherent in this release, Erdve are also proficient at atmosphere and emotion. The atmospheric components of Savigaila are typically eerie and occasionally unsettling, imbuing the record with the feel of a shifting soundscape that can crush you one second, swallow you in blackened tar the next, or morph into a nightmare dreamscape where you’re lost and hunted by formless shapes in the shadows at any given moment. Mood-drenched pieces like Votis or Pleura exemplify this last aspect of the Erdve experience well, but this is especially true of the unexpectedly affecting Pragulos.
Savigaila builds on the strengths of Vaitojimas, but then simultaneously refines and expands upon them. The heavy, acerbic songs are stronger, while the atmospheric sections are broader and more effective.
Non-standard blackened hardcore sludge is by its nature a hybrid style, and Erdve channel its multifaceted potency with skill. Savigaila is a strong album from a band that have progressed well since their debut. Make sure that you check this out.