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Vandöd "As" CD

Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 @ 7:33am » permalink

Vandöd - As"As", the debut full-length from Sweden's Vandöd as well as the debut release from Sweden's Ex Mortem Records, is one of those extremely strong albums that just so happens to open on a slightly weak note in the form of "The First Page", where the flimsy vocal performance certainly leaves the listener questioning the potential quality of the remainder of the album. Thankfully the vast majority of the material picks up some steam afterwards, including the quality of the vocals – which range from scathing snarls and harsh growls to borderline "epic" forms of singing (think along the lines of some of Enslaved's earlier work). Even a cursory Enslaved reference should clue you in that this is a black metal album, but there are definitely a lot of unique twists going on musically to counter (and exceed) the variation heard in the vocal delivery, among them some curiously discordant layering techniques that work incredibly well with the overtly dry recording quality. All of the songs fall in the three- to five-minute range, so the structures remain focused and waver between atypical uses of speed (i.e. a gracious lack of reliance on tremolo picking) and loads of slower passages that create a much more somber and intriguing atmosphere, especially given the way the multi-dimensional vocal characteristics start paying off as the album plays on. The band's whole riffing style is just really interesting to me because it somehow sounds pretty different, though not exactly "out there" or anything. I don't know, just the way they utilize weird picking textures and loosely chaotic tendencies within the confines of those cold, crawling types of staple black metal runs is pretty awesome. They may falter on a few minor occasions (mainly the aforementioned opener, though I could also do without brief/unnecessary instrumental "Nio" and the distracting horns in otherwise powerful closer "Of Unearthly Thoughts") but everything else is fucking great. I'll be looking forward to hearing more from Vandöd, for sure…

Vandöd "Burden of Eden"


@ Ex Mortem Records

1 Comment...

  1. Goddamn, I never imagined I would hear Fear Factory as a black metal band. That singing is *so* Burton Bell!

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