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A brief snapshot of life in Hell: chaotic, demented and hypnotic - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 1st, 2021

One of the Garde Noire circle of black metal bands in France, the VzörbrëzV duo were busy in 2020 putting out three demo tapes and a split album with fellow Garde Noire bands Mörmoo and Nözaakr, the latter of which shares a member with VzörbrëzV. "Ascending the Black Throne of Depravation" (sic) is the most recent of the three VzörbrëzV tapes. If this tape is typical of the duo's work, it shows the musicians are in thrall to the nuttier aspects of the 1990s-era French Black Legions bands who inspired the Garde Noire collective itself and thousands of other secretive raw BM networks around the planet.

The music that oozes from this particular poisonous cassette has a trashy decrepit quality as though the tape was partly corroded by the sulfurous fumes emanating from the little corner in Hell where the VzörbrëzV musicians make their recordings. Voices howl and shriek and gibber in blasphemous tongues while percussion crashes about and guitars sound off as though possessed by tiny demons trapped in their strings. At least the drumming provides a lazy structure of a sort for the voices and six-string fragments to hang off. The transition from one song to the next is marked by a change in the background subterranean rhythms and beats, otherwise we'd be hard pressed to figure out where in this murky mess of crazed yowling and lackadaisical music performance (if it can be called "performance") the demo starts or ends. A guitar riff can be heard struggling to form in track 3 "Vreoakreb Vroek. Vreosvetre" amid the screams and the perpetually collapsing percussion. This track has the later distinction of going trance-like in its second half with a dark dreamy ambience, a whiny background accompaniment and demon mutter.

After three tracks of relative indolence and lolling around, the howling demons are soon put to work in "Perpetual Void Incarna" and their reaction to being pushed around and steam-rolled by the pummelling drums is more screaming, howling and complaining. The title track sees these ghouls harried even more and finally turfed out into a pit of steaming, decaying corpses and crumbling bones. Whiny hornet drone and twangy ghost guitar serenade the unfortunates as they tumble further into the labyrinthine abysses of Hell.

Mercifully the tape doesn't last long, otherwise you'd be in danger of transforming into a gabbling demon wreck yourselves, but for a spellbinding 21+ minutes you get a snapshot of what it must be like to truly suffer in the deepest pits of Hell along with those denizens who have resided there for so long that the only residue of their former and current existences is madness and dementia. For a recording with such chaotic performances and a supposedly shoddy production, the voices and instruments are surprisingly clear and some guitar notes are actually melodious and resonant. The drumming is often powerful and robust and the screaming is beyond bonkers manic. No wonder the recording induces such a strange and unhealthy fascination.