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Vargsheim - In The Tower Of Ivory

In The Tower of Ivory
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 January 2023, 1:53 AM

VARGSHEIM is a German black metal band who formed in 2004 under the name BLUTRUNST before changing it in 2005. Their style incorporates "black and roll" elements into their sound—-that formula tends to be very hit or miss for a lot of bands. However, VARGSHEIM pull it off exceptionally well. Obviously, they are not the first black metal band to have these elements but VARGSHEIM still manages to have a fresh sound. What really makes this album stand out for me is how melodic it is while never losing that raw, black metal mystique the genre is so well known for.

Another stand out factor in this album is how well the songs present, control, and meld the rock elements into their fabric. It sounds unique but at no point did I ever forget this was a black metal album (and that is a very good thing). However, this seamlessly blending of styles lends the music and progressive touch and, at times, a post atmosphere. "The Serpent and the Feather," begins the album. The rock tinged guitar notes build up the song until blackened screams pierce the veil at the 1:18 mark. The song gets progressively heavier, adding layers as the seconds tick by. The middle portion features a great beefy riff that moves along a cadence that recalls those post elements I spoke of earlier. The end of the song is more kin to straight up black metal before coming full circle. This song exemplifies how each song has several moods but still remains coherent. The title track rides up to a smooth flow—the song moves effortlessly, even when the second half grows much darker and aggressive. Naavl in particular shines through the song, the drumming is always interesting.

"Reliquien," is one of the album's more bombastic and violent songs. I loved the melodic groove that bridges the song's various pieces together. The bass is crushing during the halfway mark, of a seven minute song that seems to pass by much quicker. The groove gets more intense after the halfpoint, the band fully invested in blackened fury. The final track, "Wiedergänger," is a fitting epic to end it all. There are a lot of melodic moments with the guitar but plenty of places where the music is more riff oriented. I particularly enjoyed this song because it has a more tragic and melancholic feel compared to the rest. All in all, "In The Tower Of Ivory," is a pleasant surprise. The band takes a sound that has been done plenty of other times before but manages to make it all their own.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Serpent and the Feather
2. In the Tower of Ivory
3. Schlüssel zum Selbst
4. Waves against Walls
5. Reliquien
6. Suffocated Hope
7. The Third Eye
8. Wiedergänger
Harvst - Vocals, Bass
Kaelt - Vocals, Guitars
Naavl - Drums, Violin
Record Label: Crawling Chaos Records


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Edited 23 March 2023

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