Vorkuta
Into the Chasms Of Lunacy

While being interestingly named, Hungary’s Vorkuta (named after a city where a major Gulag labor camp was based during Stalin’s years and where thousands of political prisoners died or disappeared) is still a relatively average, crawling, ambient black metal band with a few bursts of Norwegian frost.

One atmospheric intro, followed by six lengthy songs of scream and wailed filled, synth heavy and largely instrumental black metal is the order of the day. With a clear but hollow production, the mood is appropriately grim without being unlistenable as the band alters from passages of expansive and dreary ambience (“Stardust”, “Within the Fortress of Melancholia”) to more traditional, primal black metal (“The Flaming Soul”), but none of it is really that great, though passable.

Vocalist Blizzard has an appropriate strained shriek and whisper and the rest of the band seem adept at plying their craft, but on the whole the tracks just seemed empty and emotionless, the total opposite of what this genre should attain. Even though “Vorkuta” has a promising build it’s eventual shift into a mid paced, doomy, drawn out affair is predictable and ineffective. The attempt at album closing grandeur by way of the seven minute atmospheric track “Within the Fortress of Melancholia”, does its task of lull you to sleep, but not due to a hypnotic dreamy ambience, but more due too boredom.

Into the Chasms Of Lunacy is a pretty uninspired standard fare, and with so much elite, ambient black metal around, there’s no point in giving this more than a passing listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 11th, 2007

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