Like your metal like you like your coffee? Black and Extreme? Then we’ve got just the band for you. Vecordious with their newest release ‘Anthropogenic Deterioration’ bring an ear bleeding amount of extreme black metal all the way from (arguably) its homeland – Norway. The band consist of Roger Isaksen on guitar and vocals, Kjell A. Nilsen on guitar, Jon E. Hektoen on bass and Ole M. Nordsve on drums.
Aside from their initial demo in 2010, ‘Reminiscence’, this is the first full-length album from the Norse Trondheim dwellers. And what an album it is. Although the band have been lurking in Norway’s underground extreme scene for quite some time, ‘Anthropogenic Deterioration’ is sure to catapult them into the heartland of the black and death metal scenes. The album begins with ‘Descent of the Djinn’ – which in case you’re wondering what exactly a Djinn is they’re supernatural creatures mentioned in Islamic theology, which can be good or evil spirits. Oh, and they’re made of smokeless fire too. This instrumental opener sets the tone of the album, with a Mayhem-esque inspired start using atmospheric bells and echoed voices invoking a funeral like sense of foreboding and give the listener a taste of just exactly what they’ve got themselves in for.
‘Purging’ is a frantic opener that shows off not only the bands great musicianship but also their fluidity for mixing up and crossing over different genres of extreme metal. All packed in this four-minute audio assault. Dare it even be said that the avant-garde element even brings similarities to Ghost in the guitar solo department? Risky – but we’re saying it! ‘Sentinel Of Decay’ is utterly pummelling in sound, fast and frantic throughout with melodic passages – brace yourself for this one. You’ll want to shake your head so hard that this track should come with a warning sticker!
‘The Lycan’ takes things even darker with an underlying feel of chaotic disturbance and simultaneous thrill. Presenting a more traditional style of atmospheric black metal in its time signatures, this would make a great single to introduce the band to a wide audience of black metal puritans. ‘Awaiting Decimation’ begins phenomenally blending what can only be described as the Insidious movie soundtrack with a little Dissection ‘Where Dead Angels Lie’. However, this soon launches into a full-on arsenal with the drums firing like automatic weapons.
The album thunders on past the halfway mark with ‘A Septic Deception’ – which begins almost before you hit play. There’s a nice hint of guttural vocals under the main vocal line which helps add depth and the key lends to the atmosphere. The glacial clear and crisp guitars sound sharp enough to cut your fingers. You can also really sense the anger and frustration in this song, contrasted by the soaring melodies at the end of the track. Perfect driving music! ‘The Apparition’ then sneaks in presenting us with a repetitive nightmare-fuelling almost demonic interlude, ending of course with three knocks. Again, we’re shown it’s not just all about blast beats and screams for this band.
Contrastingly, ‘The Helmsman’ moves the pace right back to utter carnage. Would you expect anything less from these guys? Similar in style to fellows Norse countrymen Dimmu Borgir and Tsjuder, it presents less of the avant-garde side of the band and more traditional version of Norwegian black metal. It’s relentless. Following on from this ‘Ghastly Sepicity’ attacks the listener with furious guitar work, guttural vocals and a little bit of Gregorian chant thrown in for good measure. The solos in the breakdowns are beautiful and fades to a marching beat.
The drums take centre stage on track ‘Abberation’ with blast beats and fills aplenty, rivalling that of even the most celebrated drummers of the genre. A track even Hellhammer himself would be reluctant to follow. The album finishes up with ‘Demon Of Demise’, again bringing in a more atmospheric black metal influence here, with a slower pace than the rest of the album and intricate chord work. This track has a rawer feel – think more Taake than Immortal, with a head nodding breakdown you can imagine this being one of their biggest hits in front of live audiences. As expected, it ends just as abruptly as it started.
Overall, this album leans more towards bands like Sikth and Messugah in terms of its style rather than bands such as Darkthrone. Still black and death metal, but the avant-garde twist really makes all the difference. With multiple time changes, speed and ferocity – this is completely different to the black metal you might expect when you hear the term Norwegian extreme metal. With a fresh new take on the genre and a blending of styles, Vecordious absolutely nail this album.
Check out more from Vecordious at:
Roger Isaksen - Guitar and Vocals
Kjell A. Nilsen - Guitar
Jon E. Hektoen - Bass
Ole M. Nordsve - Drums