The Cursed Travails Of The Demeter
(Sepulchral Voice Records)

After two outstanding demos, Dublin based Death Metal outfit VIRCOLAC strikes again with another set of four crude, grim, and – most importantly – very authentic songs. Not unlike many of the bands hailing from Ireland, this pack of werewolves also project their share of Irishness along with their music, but do so without that underlying pride so common to lyrics involving a country’s issues. This is just pure death and the summoning of its tragic events. The EP starts with its title track exploring the numerous deaths within a ship, a clear reference to the coffin ships of the Famine. This “cursed vessel from stern to bow” moves from riff to riff at a nearly crawling-like pace, presenting catchy riffs interjected by the sudden pound of drums, giving it a break from more obvious linear sequences. It is all interwoven with tormented growls narrating the lurid episode, a very engaging song to be performed on stage, I believe! ‘Charonic Journey (Stygian Revelation)’ comes right after, a shorter song with slightly faster approach revealing the source of utter primitive Death Metal they drank from, but lyrically approaching death from a more general view. VIRCOLAC clearly diverges from the idea that Death Metal should be fast to be aggressive, yet it also walks away from the reverb-fed standards that the necro Death Metal bands usually stand for. There’s no appeal to really fast passages whatsoever, and it all sounds way more brutal than countless bands; On the other hand, it sounds clearer and yet more ominous than any wall of disturbing distortion covering a limited array of really unique riffs. Here you may find really engaging riffs, and every instrument is really well defined, added the fact that there’s vast exploration of arrangements’ details that make a huge difference to their atmosphere of dread. The bells ringing, the menacing melody on the piano, the horrifying backing vocals, and other resources are really well used all through this release! Following the opening songs come the two best tunes in this release: ‘Lascivious Cruelty’, my favourite one, continues the death saga through urban entrails and its tale to the degenerate ones. Again, the old school mid to fast-paced riffs prevail in more straight forward fashion, presenting short bridges played in odd tempo and interesting drum passages, also having longer periods between the vocals. And finally, ‘Betwixt The Devil And Witches,‘ a slow and long song bringing death draped in some kind of rural sacrificial rite dragging through its initial chants in the beginning of the song and its final (and long) instrumental resolution. If one thing is clear, is that either by the sickness of the city bowels or adrift at violent seas, they know exactly their way to convey their own accounts of death… a great record to be scrutinized to its smallest detail.,

Diego Rodrigues

Diego Rodrigues

Related reviews:

VIRCOLAC - Masque - by Kat "Shevil" Gillham
VIRCOLAC - Codex Perfida - by Marco Stebich

VIRCOLAC interviews:

VIRCOLAC - by Frank Stöver

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