Temple of the Abyss by VacivusRelease date: September 22, 2017
Label: Profound Lore Records
Black/death metal…the new frontier. The sub-genre was started inconspicuously by only a handful of practitioners, but it has exploded in underground circles as of late. Vacivus is one early entry into the scene that has released quality examples of music in this regard. Primarily using death metal vocals, some harsh shrieks can also be heard. Vacivus is now signed to Profound Lore Records, and this release entitled Temple of the Abyss, is consistent with Vacivus’ style and quality performances.
Never mind that the album cover looks like it has robed minions that look more closely like Hershey’s Kisses, Vacivus starts out slow, using occasional ambient music and an intro. Intros are polarizing for some writers like me, but I have to point out that Vacivus doesn’t spend five wasted minutes on a non-metal intro that packs as much punch as a balloon full of water. The acoustic track is a welcome addition and in between and everywhere else, black/death metal fury rages on in slow to mid-tempo and thrash pace to blast beat tempos as the band showcases its repertoire and nuanced songwriting qualities.
Good songwriting will always have to feature more than the singular aesthetic vision of exclusive blast sections in songs, stopping to recover from the punishing pace, going blast beat again to induce tachycardia in the listener. Vacivus does a good job on Temple of the Abyss. It is a good release to bring friends together for a fun listening session, and is excellent inspiration should a metal fan be in search of quality music to provide some backdrop to while busy brainstorming.
The album has eight tracks and goes by in a flash as the music weaves smoky rhapsodic ecstasy to listening sessions perfect for both a casual or intent listen. Black/death metal is the new ritual, and lit candles, incense sticks and images of occult lore are the principal decorations to cast shadow upon all of the mainstream world while this record sets the mood. Leave the world behind and lock the doors and windows shut, light the candles and listen to intelligent metal in an age when nothing intelligent makes it to radio waves.
A quality record by a proven band, backtrack to their older releases if you care to. This proper full-length album is a good bet for more Profound Lore accolades in the coming new year as year end lists will mostly fail to note, and even if you were born in a cave and you haven’t heard any black/death metal, this release will surely win you over should you give it a chance. Both accessible and at times murky and obscure, the classic black/death metal sound is perfect complement to a day getting away from civilization and all of it, so show reverent worship at the temple, or godspeed you on your way.