Funeral Fornication
Pandemic Transgression

So if Ov Hollowness‘s Drawn to Descend was my favorite of recent Hypnotic Dirge Records’ and Ekove Efrits’ Conceptual Horizon was my least favorite, Pandemic Transgression from Canada’s one man black metal maven Vultyrous, is my middle release.

As with any good one man black metal project, there’s boons and pitfalls. The pitfall here is the programmed drums. And the boon is that Vultyrous,  despite the ‘band’s’ early pagan thrash days (this is his second effort [out of four albums] in this style), has developed a nice, twisted, and developed sense of grim, experimental and darkly deliberate, doomy black metal.

Other than the drums, the production is decent. The guitars have a nice big burly crunch and the keyboards are used effectively with a sensual, yet twisted, orchestral operatic vibe. Vultyrous himself has the typical vocal range for such a release ranging from pained distant howl, deep bellow, vampyric whisper and even an passable singing voice (“The Thorn of Capricorn”).

Not nearly as experimental as label mate Ekove Efrits, Pandemic Transgression is far more consistent as the likes of “Of Fornication and Folklore” “Twin Suns”,  “Cold Colossus”  and surprisingly heavy closing riff of “In Times of Weakness, My Being is Compromised” tend to prove. The thing is far more riff centric and memorable, even with the heavily used but twisted, psychotic  orchestration (“Oblique”). The pace is either a slow haunting crawl or slightly menacing steady trot, but both are effective in conveying a Jekyll and Hyde aura of unsettling moods and unpredictable shifts.

The only real misstep is “No One has the Right to Exist” as the rock based drum beat just further exposes their programmed nature. But luckily, the 8 and a half minute “Glacial Ceremony” erases the memory of that track with the album’s best mix of depressive atmospherics, eerie strings, crawling riffs, whispers and a harsh black metal climax.

With only two albums of this ilk to his name, Vultyrous looks to have a pretty firm grasp on the dynamics needed to make an effective one man black metal album in this style, and if he keeps improving  and being this productive (four albums and a split in just 4 years), he’ll be one to watch out for.

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 16th, 2011

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