Sivyj Yar – Burial Shrouds

Rating: 5/5
Distributor/label: Avantgarde Music
Distributor/label URL:
Released: 2015
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SivyjYar1Band line-up:

Vladimir – All Instruments & Vocals


1. Famine
2. Burial Shrouds
3. The Earth Breathes Sorrow
4. Like a Spark We Will Vanish into the Darkness
5. In Gray Izbas Ancient Rus’ Endures
6. The Snow Shall Fall a Long Time



If there’s one thing I find unique about black metal, is the way its composers use it to tell tales about their heritage or indigenous peoples and local mythologies in some of the finest ways possible. Granted some take this angle way to seriously and end up making racist twaddle that carries no substance – but there are few who can personify the entire culture, history and mythologies of a lesser known group of people who deserve to be remembered. Such composers include Russian one man group Sivyj Yar and its fifth studio full length: BURIAL SHROUDS.

And what a journey this album takes us on. Throughout the tracks you can almost feel the chill of the steppe plains the band describes through the ingenious use of droning black metal chords and blast beats that will make you think of classic Norwegian bands. There’s also the coming and going sound of a horse and cart, which made me think this album is following some concept of a tribe journeying to a new hope through the biting cold of winter. The winter cold, suffering, death and possible hints at plagues, famine and indigenous mythology – this band knows how to make ideal European black metal.

And it doesn’t stop there – from middle track ‘The Earth Breathes Sorrow’ there are shots of crust punk and moments almost like grindcore, so Vladimir – the man behind the band – really wants to explore his musical capabilities to tell the world about the tribes braving the bleakness of Russian winter.

‘In Gray Izbas Ancient Rus’ Endures’ has shots of gothic metal fused into it, so I think Rotting Christ would feel at home listening to this guy. Sivyj Yar has longevity, and enough to tell me it will be around for many years to come making good music like this.

And final track ‘The Snow Shall Fall a Long Time’ personified the journey to a new world and prosperity for the needy better than anything I’ve ever put to my ear drums. The song starts in a punk rock style that made me think of skiing but it then blends into a feeling of bliss and jolting happiness that made me think the concept had reached its climax and the people seen on the cover had come to a new world to preserve their culture for generations to come. This is how you put a long and cold winter to music and fuse in elements that will remind you of bygone eras of innocence and changing emotions that growing up and the problems life throws at you. This is something you need to own in order to understand and remember the horrors many an ancestor went through to help bring the modern world to what it is now.

Excellence in the only way black metal can deliver.

Review by Demitri Levantis