Virvum
Illuminance

Here is yet another awesome band from Switzerland, adding to the countries fine 2016 efforts from Beansidhe, Buried Side, Deathcult, Schammasch, Colossus Fall and others (and hopefully Bolzer). This time it’s in the form of progressive tech death metal cut from the same cloth as First Fragment, The Faceless, Decrepit Birth, Gorod and Obscura in that it’s a more sweep polished, crystalline,  filled, melodic sounds rather than the more brutal take on tech death. And for a debut, this is as good as it gets.

Even with all the expected tech death paradigms at play (standard guttural vocals, blast beats, lots of spacey shreddy solos), at times, Illuminance, as the title implies, is down right uplifting and glittering with a Mithras like cosmic , radiant energy. Just listen to opening track “Cyper Supreme” or the start and last third of the the title track or the stunning standout “Ad Rigorem”. I know death metal is usually all darkness and death, but that is some pretty pretty stuff right there.

That’s not to say the album is ‘soft’ or ‘nice’ by any means, as there’s no truly, every track, out there experimentation like Inanimate Existence‘s flutes and female vocals (there are plenty of small acoustic/atmospheric breaks though) , and no flamenco or playful parts, but there is ample blasts and intensity in tracks like “Earthwork”, “Tentacles of the Sun” and “Elemental Shift” and at times I get a bit of a Theory In Practice vibe dues to how the band can mix melody and ethereal depth into tech death so adeptly, while still keeping some teeth.

The album ends with  the duo of “I: A Journey Awaits”, a short interlude and “II:  A Final Warming Shine: Ascension and Trespassing”, an epic,  wondrous ten minute number that would make Gorod and Obscura  nod in admiration, adding some clean vocal and female spoken words. In all a standout addition to 2016s crop of excellent tech death that wasn’t released by Unique Leader.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 3rd, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    not exactly my thing, but hardly bad. kinda reminds me of if the new Vektor record was more death metal than thrash.


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