In my review of Svffer’s debut LP Lies We Live I wrote that it was one of the best releases of 2014. Back then I was completely blown away by their sheer intensity and harshness. Just a year later the band returned with a second full-length called Empathist – an eight-tracker clocking in at less than 20 minutes.
Even though I’d enjoy it more if the record were a bit longer, Empathist is still as uncompromisingly punishing as its predecessor and its unlikely to find weak points in its monstrous sound and production. The listener will be once again annihilated by the bleeding emotion in Svffer’s songs and the vitriolic lyrics regarding the most negative emotions and the darkest states of human mind. Each song is a rager on its own, although I find the outro to the fifth song “Illusion” a little bit cliché – there are maybe thousands of bands using sound clips from the George Orwell’s novel based movie “1984”. It’s cool to use fragments from a bleak dystopian movie here or there but this concept has been already overused in hardcore punk. Music should be left alone to turn into a raging beast, from the first to the last second of the album, leaving you no time to take a breath and rest.
But that’s however just a tiny dose of criticism and it doesn’t make the overall experience any less intense and powerful. The whole record stands out as a solid release setting the bar for angst-ridden blackened hardcore with devastating blast beats really high. Empathist is a flawlessly produced record and I’m highly recommending it to anyone into this new wave of dark, grinding malevolence.