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Vahrzaw – The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men

Vahrzaw
The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men
by Alex Barnard at 10 January 2022, 9:40 PM

VAHRZAW is a Black/Death Metal group from Traralgon, Victoria, Australia. “The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men” is the band’s fourths full-length album, released by Transcending Obscurity Records on December 10, 2021.

Sometimes, when I write these reviews, I feel like a sommelier. As I listen this album, I’m picking up more notes of Death Metal influences, specifically from bands like DEICIDE and MORBID ANGEL, than Black Metal influences. However, the moments where the riff depends more on harmonic progression rather than pure brutality, such as in the beginning of the track “As Ships Upon Shores,” are where the influences from bands like GORGOROTH and DARKTHRONE truly shine.

This album felt like an evil jolt of energy to listen to. However, I still feel that the mix could have used a little work. Throughout the album, for example, Van Doorn’s vocals felt way too quiet and were left unintelligible. Additionally, I don’t know how the engineer equalized the guitars to fit with the bass, but at times the low-end frequencies felt muddy, leaving the riffs indecipherable at certain moments.

Perhaps my biggest compliment for this record, however, goes to guitar-wizard Williams. His riffs are impeccable, clearly taking inspiration from sources as varied as Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (“Vultures”) to Trey Azagthoth and Erik Rutan. Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve heard any new bands playing fast, slick and dissonant guitar solos, like on the track “Death Of An Unknown Architect.” I wish more of them did – perhaps they can take a page out of Williams’ play book.

Overall, despite my gripes with the mix, this is a very good album. VAHRZAW display a wide variety of influences to create a sound that’s not necessarily unique but is certainly a cut above many of their peers. Just make Van Doorn’s vocals a little louder, and you’re all set.

Production: 6
Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Trembling Voices…
2. Death Of An Unknown Architect
3. Waiting With The Wolves
4. As Ships Upon Shores
5. Vultures
6. The Pessimist
7. …Of Conquered Men
Lineup:
Van Doorn – Bass, Vocals
Williams – Guitars
Gawith – Drums
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
     


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