This is a nice surprise. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. When I looked at the band photo of Seventh Genocide, I thought that these guys were way too young to be making good music. But not only did they prove me wrong, they also proved me prejudiced.

Seventh Genocide are from Rome, Italy. Their name, they say, has nothing to do with pro-war themes, but is a description of our society, where each and every human being is a victim of a system based on self-destruction. They believe that capitalism is the main culprit and will cause, bit by bit, the seventh genocide (following the previous six) in the history of mankind along with the destruction of nature. The cover of their EP Svnth consequently shows a desolate scene: a dying, rotting forest. The band identify as anti-capitalist, anti-racist and anti-fascist.

Svnth is the quartet’s third release and it looks like it paid off that they took their time to produce it. These young Italians seem to have done their homework regarding music, otherwise they couldn’t have come up with something like the EP at hand. It shows multiple influences, from various stages and genres of metal. Although their combination might take a little time getting used to, it really is a good one.

The EP’s first track Through Woods and Fire, for example, starts out as a folk-rock piece with an acoustic guitar and then turns into atmospheric metal, post metal and post black metal with screamed, throaty vocals and unintelligible lyrics. Later on, some seventies-style, melodic guitar work is added. The track’s finale combines all of the above and fast, thrashing drumming on top of that. Excellent!

All four songs have similarly complex structures, merging genres and influences, guaranteeing that you won’t get bored of this for quite some time. I find the third track Sleepless especially interesting, because of a spoken word passage at its end, taken from the documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams by Werner Herzog. The documentary is about the Chauvet cave in southern France that contains the oldest human-painted images yet discovered. The inclusion of this reference connects humanity’s grim prospects implied by the band’s name to the beginnings of mankind, thus creating an arc of human history from past to future. Whether this was intended or not, it is there, and it adds a whole dimension to the music.

With half an hour running time, Svnth is over way too soon. I could have listened to variations of this for at least another half an hour.

While the music and the EP’s concept are very good indeed, there is, however, something in need of repair. The lyrics, as given in the CD’s booklet, contain too many mistakes. Apart from your homework in music and history, you need to do your English homework, too. But since the lyrics are unintelligible, this won’t affect your enjoyment of the music.

Give this a listen, you won’t regret it.

(8/10 Slavica)