Title: Mercurial States of Revelation
Label: Avantgarde Music
Release Date: 11 February 2022
Format reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Some music, as soon as you hear the first few notes, just immediately grabs you around the throat and you stop whatever it is you are doing and surrender to the pull of the music. That’s what this album did for me. I happen to hear Vastatum on a social media post, from a very happy metalhead friend who raved about them. I listened to them for myself and I fully agreed – this band is killer. The music is fucking amazing, and the way this band gets their point across is searing, and mind imprinting. That’s how much I enjoyed their music.
Now, who are they? Let me get to that…
Vastatum are a brand-new collaboration of two individuals and “Mercurial States of Revelation” is their debut album. Vastatum are: Luzifaust (of Hostium, Kafirun, and Nordwind, just to name a few); and Wraith (of Grimnyr and Omnipotence). Luzifaust and Wraith share vocal duties, but Luzifaust picks up drum, bass and cello; and, Wraith plays guitars. Both have been around the metal scene enough to have honed their skills and to also want to branch off on their own to make a unique offering of atmospheric black metal together. I for one, am so happy they chose to come together and further create this sound. I’ve got lots to say about music that hits in all the right places but usually its a lot of swearing and demanding of my metal friends, “have you heard this band!? You have to!?” ! Suffice it to say, you won’t regret the time you take to listen to these four tracks, and I think, if this music is your thing, that you will get it!
You feel the malevolence, and melodic points as well as the poetic and immense power of their music. Vastatum are no strangers to the occult, and that is present and intense in their music. Ohh, and lyrics. I’ll quote with, “Time is the widow that knelt in the flowing stream of death”.
“Mercurial States of Revelation” covers a lot of internal thoughts, one such line of thinking is, that the world is in a constant state of movement and adaptation and how do we continue to keep up with those changes.
As you listen to their album, you will hear the classic sounds of Norway (90s) and the Cascadian sound of the 2000s. Vastatum finds a balance between the old, the newer sounds and the esoteric, giving visions of perishing bodies and growing shadows.
The first track, “Nascent Mother of Night”, and the acoustic, so beautiful rich and layered as the intro. Powerful riffs, slamming and intense come in right after and throw you into a pit of darker inspired music, that personally I didn’t want to get out of! Those drums, damnnnn, so fast and non ending energies there, to a raspy shriek of vocals, that tear strips off of you as you are slashed by the energies of their intent and power. Little interlude of slowing down, but no less biting and mind searing. This track is a monster, and must be heard in all of its layers and intricacies.
The second track, “Fall Within Seclusion”, those power riffs come out and grab hold of you and you aren’t going anywhere. So damn good, the tremolo work. Drums come in being beaten hard and violent. That shrieked vocal pulls you under to the dark world being created. Dammnn, those riffs!! So good! This track is another monster, powerfully addictive sound.
The third track, “Mortal Abrogation”, ohhhh, these vocals are so powerful and haunting at same time. Coupled with insane riffs and blasting drums, whoa… truly amazing black metal! The atmosphere being built here is discordant and broken, challenging and angry too.
The fourth track, “Upon the Dawn of Gilded Fire”, and immediately a change up of tempo in guitars and tone. Just to throw something else into the mix to further addict you to their immense talent and creativity. Such darkness and rage in the tone now, the shrieking taking on the brutal edge of the guitars and drums. Such a great combination of music these two have built between them. It literally lashes and burns your mind with the no hold barred approach to playing their music. Half way through, a brilliant display of discordant guitars and to killer precise tremolo work being wrought on the guitar. The outro of this track is the beautiful melancholy of acoustic guitar, carrying that discordant expression.
If scorching, mind-bending, black metal is your pleasure, then Vastatum is one for your collection. Unique, occult rich, riffs and simply killer music. I give a 9/10 Metal Marie
9/10 Epic Storm
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