[Review] Svartby – Big Boss

Svartby is a Russian Folk Metal band, formed on 2004 in St. Petersburg, they have released 4 EP, 2 singles and 5 Full-length. “Big Boss” is the fifth album published on October 10, 2019 self-released in Digital version and on Soundage Productions in CD. It contain 7 tracks for only 22:06 minutes, in my opinion, too short to be a Full-length. The album is a concept tells the story about Svartby’s goblins, who ate a magical swamp gumbo and found themselves in the middle of Prohibition Era New York.They rise to power, to become the most infamous and brutal gang and it would be impossible without a clever guidance of their Big Boss. The album opens with “Magic Gumbo” with a sound that recalls the carillon and symphonic orchestrations. A short opening that leads us to “Rails and guns” that starts with a rocky riff and a powerful rhythm session. An aggressive vowel enters, the rhythms are drawn and the melodies offer excellent keyboard inserts with the sound of wind instruments that recall Swing. “Goblin Malt” is a very original song, with a cheerful melody and always very aggressive vocal, it could be called Swing-Metal. In the central part the theme is well-developed with excellent inserts of trumpet-like keyboards and time changes, the vowel returns and with the last stanzas it closes. “Deadly Tango” has a more elaborate rhythm, at times calm in others it accelerates vertiginously, the melodies here too are sought after. The keyboards embellish the song, creating layers that immerse us in the atmospheres of the American gangster period. The vowel is always in a brutal, heavy and aggressive version, in the final an excellent insert of keyboards and guitar and the piece closes. “Tommy Guns” with a pulled rhythm in Power style and a rocky guitar, and the keyboards that follow the riffs with excellent interactions. “Big Boss” is the song that gives the title to the EP, with a powerful drum rhythm and keyboards that create a pleasant swing effect. The guitar is as hard as the vowel and the time changes well articulated. Another original proof, one of the best moments on the record, both for ideas and for development and execution. Closes “Hangover” a short acoustic outro with guitar and keyboards, it’s a good melody, too bad it lasts so little. An album that in its 22 minutes, offers good ideas, original and well executed. A Folk Metal different from the classics of the genre, with cues close to Swing, suitable for the gangster theme of the lyrics and the setting. The keyboards often resembling the horns embellish the sound, the vowel is very heavy in the brutal style, the granite guitars and the solid rhythm session. A recommended listening for lovers of Heavy sounds with strong vowels, I believe that Folk-Metallers can find original and different ideas, a good album. It’s a pity to have read that after the release of the album the band broke up, after so many productions of level it had become a certainty in the Folk Metal panorama.


01. Magic Gumbo (01:18)
02. Rails and Guns (03:41)
03. Goblin Malt (03:50)
04. Deadly Tango (04:46)
05. Tommy Guns (03:17)
06. Big Boss (03:48)
07. Hangover (01:24)


Gnofkes / Vocals
Lindwurm / Guitars
Humla / Guitars
Fjällräv / Bass
Giftsvamp / Keyboards
Woopzy / Drums

Svartby |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|YouTube Channel|

Soundage Productions |Official Website|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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