The art of the devil and the embodiment of the Promethean fire…
Review by Jason Guest
World Terror Committee (Website; Facebook)
Release date: 27 February 2015
Oh dear, it’s another new band to these ears. And that means a few hours of research whilst blasting their back catalogue at an excruciating volume before blasting this new work for a week or two. Oh dear… Okay, so Devathorn’s 2007 debut album Diadema is solid but largely unimpressive. The musicianship is there but compositionally there’s much left wanting and it’s pretty much more of the same with little to differentiate the band as one amongst many. In the interim between that and new album Vritra, only four new tracks surfaced, two on the 2010 split Secta Nova and two on the 2013 split 418 – ATh IAV. Devathorn outperforming Blaze of Perdition on the latter, between the two releases, what was once but a shadow came to take on a stronger and more definite form.
Once again channelling the Qliphothic and the chaotic through the symbolism of the Old Testament, Greek and Egyptian mythology, Mesopotamian and Vedic religion, and of Satanism and their impressive arsenal of black metal barbarity, Vritra is incredible. Eleven tracks at over an hour long, Devathorn’s musical and compositional skills have developed considerably and at no point falter. The re-recorded ‘Ars Diabioli’, ‘Principles of Rage’ and ‘The Venomous Advent’ (the first two from the 2010 split, the latter from the 2013 split) have both aged well, the robust production giving them the heft they long deserved, and their position on the album a strategic one.
‘Veritas Universalis’ is seething black metal rage; ‘Doctrina Fide’ juxtaposes down-tempo doom atmospherics with full-on rage; ‘Verba Inermis’ are burning rage; and the ten-minute penultimate track ‘Promethean Descent’ is vast in dynamic and textural scope. The use of eastern sounds and scales such as in ‘Cathedral of Set’, ‘Sapphires of Vritra’, and the two ambient pieces – ‘Cantibus Ad Messorem…’ and closer ‘Draco Adligat Mundi’ – intensifies the experience by enhancing the mythical, the mystical and the esoteric nature of the album.
Each track a world of its own, it’s evident that the riffs, the rhythms, the vocals, and the melodies as well as the structures, the dynamics and the textures have all been pored over time and again for the greater good. And with members of Acherontas, Temple of Baal, Serpent Noir and Monk Adramelekh, Temple of Algolagnia Chthonian Alchemy, and Mother of Millions to compound the sound of this monster work, Vritra is much more than Devathorn and much more than it’s component parts. Vritra is the art of the devil, the embodiment of the Promethean fire, and the realization of the corporeal, the libidinal and the Adversarial.
9 out of 10
- Veritas Universalis
- Doctrina Fide
- Cathedral Of Set
- Ars Diaboli
- Cantibus Ad Messorem, Sanctus Mors
- Principes Of Chaos
- Sapphires Of Vritra
- Verba Inermis
- The Venomous Advent
- Promethean Descent
- Draco Adligat Mundi