Virus
Memento Collider

Around twenty or so years ago I was fortunate enough to purchase a black metal compilation called Blackened Vol 1.  Of all the bands on this compilation that made a distinct impression on me was a group from Norway called Ved Buens Ende. Ved Buens Ende at that time played a unique style of avant garde black metal.  The contrast between the almost jazzy arrangements and vocalist Czral ‘s unique poetic bellowing created a unique listening experience that is definitely not for everyone. Take it or leave it.  These guys are out there.

Fast forward to present date and we have the fourth studio record from Virus Memento Collider.  The album opens with a ten plus minute tune called “Afield. “Afield” opens with piercing chords that resonate with a strong vibrato and once the bass lines start kick it feels like you are listening to some sort of jazz-funk hybrid. It is interesting that the album starts off with the longest song.  It pretty much moves in two very specific movements and then seems to bridge with unique female vocal accompaniment.

I must say the bass work of Plenum is quite well done and works almost as a lead instrument throughout the record. For the most part each track on this has a similar feel of using a mixture of dissonant chords mixed with bass lines flowing off of with odd time changes, syncopation galore. “Gravity Seeker” may be the most metal tune on this album as it features a guest guitar solo by Voivod’s Daniel Mongrain. I was not expecting to hear any guitar solos on this and having Mongrain of all people adds a nice layer of contrast and also continues to add to the jazz theme going on.

The closing tune, “Phantom Oil Slick” rings and shuffles with the twanginess and bravado that makes this whole album strangely fun listen. I hope Virus eventually tours the United States. I would love to see how they pull off this material live. They continue to press the boundaries of what avant-garde can mean and on Memento Collider they show their natural ability to play their unique style of jazz infused progressive rock. No one makes weird catchier than this group and I hope their next record is as fun to listen to as this one was. Check it out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
July 5th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    This reminds me of Scott Walker’s The Drift album. Less terrifying but still super bizarre.


  2. Commented by: Nick K

    Yes, Virus is a bit out there. I will have to check out that Scott Walker album.


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    just a caveat: Scott has a very weird voice. some people are turned off but it. I hope you enjoy it, The Drift is a really nightmarish record.


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