Vritra – Deinde Signum Mortifera

Band: Vritra
Title: Deinde Signum Mortifera
Label: GoatowaRex
Release date: 6 October 2019
Country: Finland
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

Let us pray.

Or let us just scroll back about 10 years.

On January 28th 2009, finish based VRITRA released a debut album “Deinde Signum Mortifera”, than with the label Vermines Pestifera. The album was limited to 500 copies, and I must admit I have no idea how it sold. The album clings to black satanic metal filled with occultism and now, 10 years later, the album has been released on vinyl by GoatowaRex, limited to 200 copies.

The album contains six tracks, all titled hymns, although I must say, none of them actually are. Neither in the traditional sense, nor in metal sense, and even for a reissue a whole decade later there has been no obvious improvement in the production, let alone the vocals.

We all know that a sound on vinyl is always better than the sound on a CD, or whatever else format there is. Having a vinyl release is like the Holy Grail for musicians and the enjoyment the listener gets from the clear and pure sound of a vinyl is just indescribable. However you can polish some things as much as possible, but if the base of the work is not solid the work on top will crumble and fall.

I am fairly certain that I have praised whatever Finland has ever produced, but this time it was extremely challenging. The opening “hymn”, “Qui Artibus Magicis Manes Evocat”, sets the mood for old and cheap sounding occult black metal. I was very confused with the vocals as they strolled around slow and unclear. Not that unclear vocals are anything new in this sort of music, however, it was too slow for the rest of the shoe to fit.

Mediocre riffs and unfit vocals continue in the second hymn, the album title track, “Deinde Signum Mortifera”. What it felt like was a pathway to seek acceptance or belonging in this genre and a desperate attempt to hold on to the old sounding occult black metal, and a way too long one as well. At 9 minutes plus, it does nothing to hold the attention of the listener and nothing strikes the vein of enjoyment within the third hymn, “Das schwarze Nest”.

In the form of hymns four and five, “Black Hole” and “Virtute Vexillis Sathanas”, I realized that this album is to black metal what ET was for video games. The feel the album is attempting to set up is unclear but the enjoyment vein remains unplucked with the simplistic guitar work and melodies. The flag that is attempted to be carried here for this genre is unlawfully touching the ground, and may I remind you that ET was a game that ended up literally being buried in the desert.

The sixth hymn, “Mortuus Dependere Arbore Pomum Similis”, ends this album the same way it has been going for the entire run through. As a one man project, that is not something that this can be blamed on, I have encountered many perfectly lovely one man projects and we all know it can be done. Its lack in variability is immense and its failure to evoke even the base enjoyment of black metal questions the motives for a reissue. I am inclined to give it a 1 for making it to vinyl. Perhaps another attempt at a full length album will go better for this one. Let us pray. 1/10 by Julia



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