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Vorkreist have been around for quite some time, but have never reached the stellar (albeit clandestine) status of Franch experimentalists, such as Deathspell Omega or Blut aus Nord, nor have they moulded their own, original and rejuvenating amalgam of these two extreme, since songs on their past catalogue are redolent of either of the two, rather then being an interspersion of their caractheristics. And while on this release they do show a more mature and focused songwriting skills, they are still shy of extraordinary and examplary rendition of all that is unsacred in metal.
The instruments performance is satisfactory and convincing, but again fails shorts of outstandingness, this being because of a less immersing and interesting songwriting, that recounts past motifs and ideas often, feeling as if this band had a rather shabby archive of riffs and other devices and blocks for song-building, and that they resort to identical or quite similar ones, whenever there's an insecurity of what to do next (just listen to "Dominus illuminatio mea" to see an evidence of this). Chugging, tremolos, etc. are all there , but neither in the dosage high enough to compel the listener the musicians behind them are qualified or motivated to display any proficiency, or at least offer a somewhat redeeming 47 minutes. The drums are somewhat buried in the mix,and often shine out only as blunt and lifeless snare thumping, but move at a reasonable pace, and have that appealing and engrossing likeability to them, that sterns from the fact they use no triggers(they sounded better on their second release "Sublimation XXIX A", despite, strangely enough, the drummer being the same person) . The vocals seem without vigor and pep, and are purely consisting of some mid-range throaty rasp, soulless and forgettable.
The overall impact is that of a poorly thought-out, rushed, and often hilariously lethargic and insipid package of some decent riffs, drums relegated to the secondary role (we are talking eytreme metal here), a vocalist who often further reduces the kick of some of the more promising and tolerable riffs with his frail snarl, and we are left with an underwhelimg and unsettling mounemnt, opr better yet, a tombstone to all quality and class in extreme metal. 6/10
Somewhat of a preposterous and needlessly heretical title, Vorkreist offer up a competent follow-up to Sickness Sovereign yet still don’t quite manage to keep up with their peers in the French black scene.
Vorkreist a French death/black band that is somewhat of a super group with members from bands pushing the envelope in terms of what black metal can achieve. Members from bands as diverse as Blacklodge, Love Lies Bleeding, Merrimack, Antaeus and Hell Militia are part of this foul conflagration. One would hope that with such a rich history the members would be able to forge a band that is more than capable of keeping up with the scene. Musically Vorkreist could be compared to Arkhon Infaustus, Temple of Baal and Hell Militia; all of these aforementioned bands have connections with Vorkreist as they’re all part of the same endingly incestuous Parisian scene where it seems every individual has more fingers in different pies than Gary Glitter’s had in children. For me this is one of the beauties of the French scene, despite so many people split between different bands, each one manages to have their own sound and is carving their own path; unfortunately however it’s not quite the case for Vorkreist.
On paper this band and this album should work, they’re competent musically, they have the experience, the ideology and aesthetic, but somewhere it doesn’t quite click. Vorkreist have always polarised me, sometimes I can enjoy them greatly and other times they can sound extremely homogenous and generic; one of the biggest issues I feel is their uncertainty to decide what style they want to play, they switch between death and black as opposed to a constant blackened death approach; which is something that I like about them, they’re willing to switch and change-up but it can fall short and make the music feel disjointed and lacking in structure and direction. When they do decide to pick a style they manage to achieve it competently however it’s nothing you haven’t heard before, there is no real supremacy, I will admit I can listen to it and not be dissatisfied but I need more, especially from a 'super-group' such as these fucks.
The sound on this album is fuller than previous efforts, with production matching the levels that are expected for members from such seminal bands, guitars are heavy and leaning towards the death metal sound. The bass is consistent and whilst not stellar, LSK gives a steady performance as is always expected from her. Drums on the album whilst competent are your standard black/death fare and as such nothing that you can find fault with or jubilate over either. A downfall however is the mix of St. Vincent's vocals on this record, he is a vocalist with a very unique style as evidenced by his work with Blacklodge, and whilst with Vorkreist he offers up more generic vocals, there is still more texture in his approach than a many vocalists, making it a shame that his vox are extremely low in the mix.
Overall the album isn't band and is on par with previous Vorkreist material, possibly even slightly better but only marginally; give me Hell Militia over this any day and let's not kid ourselves, Hell Militia are a poor man’s Arkhon Infaustus!
I have to say if someone stuck this on, I wouldn't bitch but I can't see myself returning to the album often when so much other and better sickness is abound.
(Originally written for baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.com)
For several years now, France witnessed the emergence of many bands that sail through the murky waters of black and death metal. This is the case of the Parisian band Vorkreist, who have been raging since the late 1990s. My first contact with them, however, dates back only to 2009 with the release of Sickness Sovereign, a record that then made a pretty good impression. The group is pursuing its quest to destroy Christianity, boosted by a new contract with Agonia Records, with Sigil Whore Christ (2012).
Despite many listens, I confess that I remain puzzled by this album. The performers are talented, the compositions are correct, and the production is impeccable, but something is wrong. One senses a hesitation, a doubt, as if the group is juggling different options: choose the technical and brutal death, the iconoclastic and sulfuric black, or a more accessible melodeath? This uncertainty of musical direction of the album greatly affects its cohesion. Tempted amalgams are not always happy and more homogenous titles are without a doubt the most interesting, such as De Imitatione Christi or Memento Mori. Finally, this seems to cause a hindrance in the interpretation of the songs. The primary rage and aggression, while characteristic of this style, only scratch the songs. Constant tempo changing always breaks the initial momentum.
In summary, this fourth album of French Vorkreist suffers from a confused art direction that makes it difficult to fully appreciate. ‘Grasp all, lose all’ says the proverb. Well, the band should draw on that little piece of wisdom to clearly identify the path they want to borrow in the future. 6/10
Originally written for metalobscur.com