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A full on sonic assault on all the senses - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 26th, 2018

Despite their Scandinavian-looking name, Ulvegr are based in Kharkiv, in Ukraine, and revolve around two members Odalv and Helg who between them boast memberships in various other BM and post-BM bands. "Vargkult", the duo's fifth full-length effort together, is a full-on assault on all the senses, all fire and fury, with absolutely no let up - not what you might expect from a band whose discography might suggest these guys have seen, heard and done everything there is for a raw BM bunch to do! While the songs are not short, all being at least 3 minutes in length, they're not long either and if you blink or sneeze at the wrong time, all that ends up registering of the track where you committed your blunder is the glowing, spitting trail of a fireball travelling at close to light-year speeds. All songs are built around extremely open-sore raw grinding guitar riffs, rapid-fire flippy percussion (which occasionally booms) and savagely vicious, scourging vocals full of hate and bitterness.

Even paying attention, I find the songs hard to keep up with so I'll just treat the entire album as if it were one meta-work of several tracks of raw BM aggression. The titles suggest an obsession with blood-drenched violence but titles alone are not the best guide to what themes might dominate on the album. The vocals are as much part of the sonic texture of the music and are hard to follow when the music is so fast and changes so much within each and every track. The effect can be mesmerising and absorbing when you're listening closely and paying any attention to the lyrics becomes a distant second consideration.

The album starts fast and violently enough but as it continues, it keeps piling on even more intense aggression. The result is that the second half of the album which features songs with lovely titles like "Death is Our Law", "Cutting Off Your Throat", "All Sheep to the Slaughter" and "We Remember the Blood" is much, much better than the first - if you love fast, raw, full-steam-ahead thrashy BM, that is. More sensitive listeners wanting atmospherics and moments of meditation had best look elsewhere. Perhaps one day, to satisfy everyone, Ulvegr might consider re-releasing this album in a version that goes at one quarter of the speed with a fraction of the aggression, the hostility and the blood-letting. Let that day be a long way off! Can't a band, even one with a sizeable discography, have some fun for a change?