That day is now upon us. Death metal is enjoying a new slew of dedicated practitioners hoping to revive the true and sacred art, to elevate the genre back to the unapproachable, sick levels of old. Profound Lore has done much to advance the modern movement, showcasing a focus on death metal with an arsenal of awesome releases by Portal, Impetuous Ritual, Crucifist and now Vasaeleth, a band as dedicated to the crusty sounds of old as anyone.
I hate music as intellectual exercise alone and any sort of revivalist movement runs the risk of courting this wicked muse. Vasaeleth are either very, very good or very, very true and i choose to believe the latter as they run through eight hymns of poorly recorded (four or eight track) chromatic metal juggernauting, with riffs as unidentifiable as bones tossed in acid and vocals reminiscient of Chris Barnes before he became self-aware. Everything reeks of the occult, from the sickeningly Satanic sigil-laden cover painting to the hopelessly obtuse and archaically obscure lyrics. Magicks are invoked and demons are called up; the end result is death, destruction, chaos and horror. Smoke vomits from the roofs of burning villages and screams haunt the choking air-this is medieval punishment and plunder rendered into song. The influence of Bolt Thrower hangs heavy over Vasaeleth, especially in terms of guitar sound and the plodding simplicity of the riffs, but the spectre of infant Napalm Death haunts as well, showing its hand in the go-for-broke blast beats and whirlwind pace of the record as a whole. This is heavy, heavy damage.
The fact that such an orchestrated approach yields only a blur speaks volumes about the effect. This is death metal as a force, a rebellion,a sound that no one dared practice. Time has eroded the true sense of futurism that the best death metal bands displayed but in its place in Vasalaeth is a ferocity and a desire, two qualities that are in horribly short supply in today's environment. I hope that ferocity can sustain for a few more years.