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Vattnet Viskar - Sky Swallower

Vattnet Viskar
Sky Swallower
by Spyros Stasis at 12 September 2013, 12:32 PM

Coming out of nowhere back in 2010 with their first demo, VATTNET VISKAR made a few heads turn with their debut self-titled EP. It is not strange that one of the biggest Metal labels, Century Media, showed interest in the band from New Hampshire and eventually signed them. Now, one year after their self-titled EP, the band returns with their debut full-length, entitled “Sky Swallower”.

The band is balancing between their Black Metal fury and their doomier side. Of course that is not all that VATTNET VISKAR is doing. There is a certain Hardcore element that manifests in their tracks as a heavy post Metal outbreak, offering the necessary catharsis and change of scenery for the band’s music. When you put on top of that an almost Progressive outlook towards their Black Metal core, you start to realize what the full potential of a band such as VATTNET VISKAR just might be.

The album starts in a fantastic way with “New Alchemy”. From the get-go the band shows their ability to conjure riffs that are full of ferocity, with an appetite for devastation, while at the same time they manage to retain an almost melancholic ambiance that encircles their music. They even offer some mid tempo moments that are awakening an almost epic feeling while the more laid back part shows that VATTNET VISKAR can offer much more than seer aggression. “New Alchemy” washes into the following song, “Fog of Agony”, in a very fitting manner. The peaceful intro of the track fools you into thinking that VATTNET VISKAR might allow some lasting serenity. Instead of course they lash out, bringing forth their cold riffing enriched by their pessimistic attitude. The band is giving you a few brief moments of to pick yourself up with the break in the song before the Black Metal punishment resumes its course. Even then, the band is still offering a post metal cleansing with their beautiful leads near the end of the track.

The first of the album’s interlude appears then. “Monarch”, despite its short length, is fucking impressive. The track manages to retain a majestic feeling while sounding absolutely huge at the same time. The sweet melodies that the band is unleashing are flowing around making the music even more intoxicating. On the other hand, the second interlude of the album, “Ascend”, is a much calmer passage, while the final interlude, “As I Stared Into The Sky”, reveals a much more twisted and deranged face of the band, with VATTNET VISKAR making sure that their guitars are truly suffering in this occasion.

The band is following the same path in the reaming songs. “Breath of The Almighty” is presented with a really impressive bass sound, while the band is using their black metal leads in order to construct post Metal sonic landscapes. The melodic lines of the track are addictive while the band is stretching the tension in a very imaginative way. Their bitter black metal self gives way to their gloomy, depressive clean parts bringing you down and then assaulting you even further with their dissonant Black Metal attack. And with such an attack VATTNET VISKAR decide to kick off “Mythos”, spreading destruction and devastation in their path. The way the vocals are implemented in this track is absolutely brilliant; giving them a massive sound while the music is set to annihilate all that is standing. That is when VATTNET VISKAR also unleashes their heavier self, about three and a half minutes into the song, bringing down the gigantic riffs in order to crush you.

Finally the band lays this album to rest with “Apex”. The mournful start of the song melts away all hope while the Black Metal outburst that follows makes sure there is no chance of revival. The eerie leads still present are crafting the soundscapes in the cruelest of manners, a dystopian setting where certain doom remains inevitable. The pace is constantly flirting with the doomier side of the band allowing no light to be shed within their blackened vortex. Even the acoustic outro to the album cannot wash away the bitterness of “Sky Swallower”.

Even though the band might have been stepping away from the sound of their debut EP, in “Sky Swallower” we see VATTNET VISKAR making the first steps in the process of finding their own musical identity. And yet in the end of the day the album is nothing less than excellent. Sky is the limit, so go ahead and swallow the fucking thing.

4 Star Rating

1. New Alchemy
2. Fog of Apathy
3. Monarch
4. Breath of the Almighty
5. Ascend
6. Mythos
7. As I Stared Into The Sky
8. Apex
Chris Alfieri – Guitars
Nicholas Thornbury – Vocals, Guitars
Joey Perron – Bass
Seamus Menihane – Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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