Label: Sludgelord Records
Release date: 20 February 2020
Format reviewed: Digital promo
POSTVORTA are a six piece band from Italy, that have existed since 2009 that profess to be ‘Post Metal’; incorporating elements of doom, hardcore, and melancholic ethereal soundscapes that are far removed from being an instant several tracks of “bish bash bosh, three and a half minutes of rip your face off riffs, see you later” as you would wrongfully expect, oh no. Their sound is quite heavily influenced by bands such as ISIS, NEUROSIS, CULT OF LUNA, and to an extent – GODFLESH; the structure of the album is based around immersing the listener into a disorientating, bleak dystopia of slow sludgy riffs, and drawn out cinematic passages that add to the overall sense of drama the album conveys as a collective whole. To date, they have four albums/EP’s and over time have grown and refined their sound; that has matured considerably over time to release one of their most accomplished works to date. Interestingly, “Porrima” has been mixed and produced by Riccardo Pastini (EPHEL DUATH), and mastered by Magnus Lindburg (CULT OF LUNA) that’s aided considerably to conveying the expansive and exhaustive soundscapes that POSTVORTA have committed to tape.
The album lulls you into an almost tranquil sense of false security as soon as you hit the play button with opening track “Epithelium Copia”, that begins almost too quietly with nearly three whole minutes of an intro that sounds like it should belong on an early TANGERINE DREAM record. Then, almost IRON MONKEY-esque riffs kick in that sound like they’re played at the wrong RPM until the bellowed and tortured shouts of vocalist Nicola Dona begin, backed by searing slow riffage that could probably have a good go of re-arranging your internal organs if listened to loud enough. The albums tracks are what’s best described a sonic tornado if that makes sense; due in no small part to passages of deeply unsettling crushing intensity that makes way for an unerring sense of calm, that proceeds to bounce back stronger than before with chunky doom flavoured riffs that could sand blast paint from walls, making tracks such as “March Dysthymia” very potent. “Vasa Praevia Dispassion” almost reminds the listener of early MASTODON circa ‘Remission’ with a sense of weird melody at the start of the track, leading to ISIS inspired riffs through the remainder of the song (especially the calmer, atmospheric parts). However, it’s worth pointing out that POSTVORTA pay a respectful homage to what inspired and influenced them without coming across as if it’s “copied homework” with a few words swapped and changed, where lesser bands are guilty of falling into that particular trap. Thankfully, the band have proven they’re far better than that – certainly a great thing.
In essence, POSTVORTA aren’t the sort of band to listen to as a quick fix – because that’s not what they’re about; if you baulk at the idea of tracks that go beyond a quarter of an hour long, then this album isn’t for you. Then again, if your idea of meditation is disorientation via intense prolonged bouts of pummelling doom and sludge riffs that fade out, and bounce back at you with twice the aggression; carrying a bag of swinging bricks to smack you around the head for good measure, then they’re absolutely perfect and hugely enjoyable. Inspired, moving, exhilarating, sonically debilitating, and emotionally exhausting – “Porrima” will make you feel like you’ve been slowly tortured by a pack of hormonal grizzly bears over a week whilst trapped in a cave slowly dying of starvation, hypothermia, and sepsis. 7/10 Goth Mark
7/10 Victory is possible
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