You might have guessed it. It is time to, yet again, descend into the darkened pit of diabolical lore and corpses BBQed on glowing tridents. On the menu are Vulture Lord, the band that remained without a major release for some 18 years since their second full studio record hit the airwaves. To top all that, this band pretty much is a leftover of the old Scandinavian Black Metal lore. After all, they did start in 1995 or so.
And – long after the demise of their former guitarist Trond Bråthen aka Trondr Nefas in 2012 – they are now back with Desecration Rite.
So, begone ye cosmic horrors and back to the dreary sources of Black Metal. Let’s return to the minions of biblical tales that descended into darkness and other counts from the crypt.
Biblical? ‘Tis the daemon’s realm, right? Well, without the faith of the three contemporary main religions, none of yer usual demons would quake in front of the mighty symbols their god of light imposes. Because, if religion plays no part, then you have a totally different and very archaic problem. And besides, without that, one Sorath Northgrove wouldn’t be able to lustfully rasp “…Nazareth stillborn…” inside one of the feistiest tracks of the album.
So, will Desecration Rites live up to its credo? Or will other satanic outfits steal its demonic thunder? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
“If a god of light and love ever did exist, he is long since dead. Someone, something rules in His place.”– The Masque of the Red Death
What a thunderclap entry by Vulture Lord into a harsh and totally blackened piece. Straight from the innards of an age-old horror movie that stole its lines from Poe’s artistic loins. The intro continues with some Omen-esque1) chanting that at the same time sounds like a demonic version of Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s Marche Royale after the king arrived in purgatory.
But once Bloodbound Militia hits, we’re back down in the 10th circle of hell. Speedy thrash-infected Black Metal assails yer eardrums right away with a record that finally wants to undo Christianity by Perverting the Bible. In other words, you’ll get a full 38 minutes or so of total blasphemy.
As the lore goes, much of the material on Desecration Rite still stems from the former grandmaster of the band. And that certainly rings true, looking at the dark storyline they follow here. Yet, the sound migrated from a pretty sub-terranean and archaic style to more modern shores. Away from the former much more frugal satanic offering to a richer and meatier sound.
And truly so, right from the start of the second track, the band lets loose with a merciless wall of sound. Darkthroneian vibes combat with their older brethren for influence on a pitch-black metal platter that impressed us right away with its abundant and rich soundscape. And boy, this album is loud, very loud. As if them folks from Vulture Lord still want to fight that infamous loudness war. Apart from handing the world to the devil, that is.
Yet, the RMR deck did fancy that straight-in-the-face storytelling that comes on waves of overdone thrash and totally blackened wings of death. A fact that really pushes through, once Stillborn Messiah assails yer earphones. And whilst the rhythm guitar mercilessly churns out its wares, suddenly a wild solo scrapes along the insides of your skull.
Desecration Rite truly throws everything Black Metal has on offer at you. Vile dual rasps that embed into merciless blast beats. All of that comes with sturdy riffing that never ends, plus those aforementioned often stellar solos that suddenly appear from the dark recesses of the hellish landscape the band describes. Boy, the whole record kinda feels like a reincarnation of the old Scandinavian vibes from a long ago. Black Metal 3.0, if you will.
Finally, I admit that it took us a while to get into the album’s dark groove. Desecration Rite is an offering that gleefully feeds from all these clichés that were abandoned a long time ago in the Scandinavian tunnels of time. Yet again, with all those stereotypes on display, Vulture Lord truly mean business. And that’s what sold us in the end.
The band thus created a record that is not only fully rooted in church burning lore of long-gone eras. But instead, the piece turned out to be a powerful continuation of a band fully rooted in its dark and dreary place where Black Metal reigns supreme. A piece so intense, we were actually grateful for the relatively short 38-minute airtime.
And this – again – means that there’s no fat on this piece, let alone filler material. Instead, you get a high-octane piece of speedy Black Metal from a band that really means the terrible business it projects. Hail to Desecration Rite and its classic, fiery slab of glowing metal. That’s one hell of an Extreme Metal album made by masters of the trade.
Oh, and lock up those church doors in the meantime. The desecrators are about, and they don’t take prisoners.
Ed’s note: An early 2021 collection of the most memorable extreme records just appeared on RMR. And this band is on it.
|1.||Another age-old movie. They must have an affinity for them. -Ed.|