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Vorant Gnosis
(Pulverised Records)

"Vorant Gnosis" is the third release by the mysterious Black / Death / Doom Metal band VERBERIS. An intense EP with two long songs for a total length of almost 32 minutes of extreme music by this act that keeps itself very enigmatic to the masses, since there isn't any biographical or line-up information online. We only know that they are from New Zealand, nothing else. An obscure EP, far better than the majority of the new blackened Death Metal bands born over the last ten years. VERBERIS are not the typical BLASPHEMY or SARCOFAGO copycat band, but they offer us an interesting hybrid of Black Metal, Death Metal and Doom Metal. I have a strict opinion when it comes to music plagiarism and VERBERIS is not a mere clone, but they have their own style and it kills: cryptic, raw and evil. The songwriting is a mixture of doomy parts, furious accelerations and dark mid tempos. When they slow down, the atmosphere gets claustrophobic, mystical and gloomy, with a strong touch of Funeral Doom but without ending up in the melodic boredom. When they speed up, the listener faces a wall of very well played and brutal Black / Death Metal (albeit chaotic at times). VERBERIS' compositions sound both primitive and fairly structured: something rare for a Black / Death Metal band. The drumming is very dynamic and intricate with many tempo changes, accurate rollings, solid blast beats, bomb blasts, cymbal accents and a powerful double bass. The production is very good for this kind of genre: neither ultra professional nor lo-fi; each instrument is perfectly audible. As required by the Black / Death Metal standard guidelines we have some very disturbing and sepulchral vocals; some deep growlings pushed back in the mix in order to create an aura of nightmarish desolation. We could summarize VERBERIS' style in this way: a costant alternation between depression and chaos. If I had to compare them to a similar band, I would say that VERBERIS are the Black Metal answer to DISEMBOWELMENT. Definitely worth a mention is the front cover artwork, which is very reminiscent of the bog bodies (a visual imagery that exudes primitivism and that was already used by the Black Metal / Punk band BONE AWL). So, if you're looking for half an hour of evil savagery and you think that musicianship matters, this EP, released by the Singaporean label Pulverised Records, marks a significant step towards the proper evolution of Black / Death Metal. More info at,

Rick Peart

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