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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)