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Versifist - The Power of the Word, the Devilry of Air

The Power of the Word, the Devilry of Air
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 22 July 2020, 12:26 PM

From time to time, everyone knows a band which musical work is so good that makes you ask ‘why in the blazes have such a good band released an album yet?’ This aspect does not happen not so often today, but still appears once on a while, as in the case of the Canadian Hell Blasters of VERSIFIST. This compilation called “The Power of the Word, the Devilry of Air” is here to make you think about it.

They focus their efforts in creating a brutal and nasty form of Death/Black Metal with a violent personality. But it’s not similar to those bands that have a great commercial success, for their music sounds nasty and so aggressive in an Old School form, bearing some influences from German Thrash Metal (as can be heard on the guitar riffs of “Bring Back the Dark”). And as this compilation comprises the band’s three EPs, it’s a great opportunity for the fans to have all their material. The sonority is harsh and crude, but in a way that fits on their musical expression. It’s not moldy or a vain try to be a band from the 80s. No, it’s not their aim. And although it could be done in a better way, a bit cleaner and defined, it’s not a waste. But remember that the sound quality can vary a lot, because this album is a recollection of what they did since the band’s foundation until now.

“Deliver Us from Flesh” and “The Sinner’s Cry” come from their EP “Scripting the Catechism” (2014), and shows a more brutal and aggressive sound, focused on a solid and compact rhythmic work, where bass guitar and drums are thundering. “Bring Back the Dark” and “…in Tongues” are songs from “Cipher” (2016), with some evolution in technical and rhythmic terms (both are extremely different in this last aspect), but bearing an Old School insight (mainly due the guitar riffs that shows influences from SODOM and CELTIC FROST). And “The Dead Ride Fast”, “With Iron Despise”, “The Last Breath of Inflection”, and “Spectre” comes from the tape release “As a Shadow…I Shall Emerge” (2018), with a nasty sound quality, but the evolution took its tool and created a set of very good songs that are different one from the others, and all presenting very good vocals. But the band presents two personalized version for songs from other bands: “Death Rides Out” (from BESTIAL WARLUST), that was originally released on “Scripting the Catechism”; and the Single “Come, Reap” (from THE DEVIL’S BLOOD), where the band puts its musical way on the song, but keeping the original aspects as well. This last song was released only on their Bandcamp.

As said above, VERSIFIST needs to have an album, for their music is so good to be left known only on Canadian underground. Until the album comes (and hope it will come), “The Power of the Word, the Devilry of Air” is a very good way to wait for it.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Deliver Us from Flesh
2. The Sinner’s Cry
3. Bring Back the Dark
4. …in Tongues
5. The Dead Ride Fast
6. With Iron Despise
7. The Last Breath of Inflection
8. Spectre
9. Death Rides Out
10. Come Reap
Ross Vickers - Bass, Vocals
Graham Ferguson - Guitars
Evan Walmbolt - Drums
Record Label: Human Plague Productions


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