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Virocracy — Irradiation

by Iris Jonathan Colvain at 07 April 2020, 10:47 AM

Of a force unstoppable, VICOCRACY, defines their sound through long resonating and reaching tones that achieve a unique atmosphere; having now just released their first full length album, “Irradiation,” the band achieves more than just a usual milestone, herein they set the tone for what any and all that come across the band may yet expect.

The deep and resonating trepidations of fear and wonder bubble and gurgle through to the surface like the forgotten pages of a text long misplaced by Poe, or the sickening narration of Alan Moore on a bad day; the defining sound of these likened medias is none other than the introduction piece, “Omen,” which is as mystifying as it is short, serving its purpose in full. “Initio,” the band’s first true song on the album, segues in from the dying breath of that which comes before and immediately changes the soundscape to that of intense and volatile thereupon focusing on sharpened and jagged riffs, cascading drums, and retching vocals.

Rane” commences with Agent Smith’s famous quote from The Matrix albeit spoken by someone with different rhythm and timbre, soon an eerie clean guitar progression joins providing an eldritch atmosphere for the quote to reach its conclusion and the song to begin. The accentuated chords and spaced out grooves then join in over the continuing clean progression eventually paving the way for the verse to materialize in powerful drums and rhythms that diverge slightly in each channel. Lyrically speaking “Void Of Heart” is a hate-filled sting, exploring the confines of the human condition in the wake of mortal adversity, the music matches the tone of the diction in perfect symmetry, illustrating the depths of depravity and the turns and sways of one’s own descent into maddening dilapidation—the song achieves such by moving in and out of intensity, creating a sense of hesitation and unrest which comes to a crescendoing knell via the instruments adjoining the end lyrics, “I will perish in vain,” in a slow and crippling resonance before transitioning into the outro, “Forgotten.”

The instruments align near perfect with one another, as the guitars are focused heavily upon the upper-mid range they create a strong sense of attack that helps to craft the band’s identity; the bass unhindered fills in the lower depths of the soundscape both providing the heavy laden foundation, and channeling that same approach of attack into its own tone; the drums are composed of an amazing body, focusing on the fuller aspect and sound of the heads and kick rather than just the initial strike, however the cymbals are a bit buried behind the kit which is odd in itself as usually those items are able to pierce through every other sound in the bin due to having the highest frequencies, and whilst it is easy enough to perceive their strikes and resonances when they do occur, especially in the less intense sections, they remain lost behind the full body of the kit; the vocals move between pitches and tone without incident creating a greater dynamic in each song by establishing tension and conflict — Anika’s mastery of glottal, epiglottal, and laryngeal articulations is impressive in its own right, whereupon she’s managed to craft a deepened and utter guttural sound whilst also maintaining some amount of clarity in regular phonetics.

A great substance dissimilar to others within the confines of the same genre, VIROCRACY, succeeds in defining their sound and pursuits in great effect through their first album. The melodious and crushing dynamics create a bittersweet and angry torrent for any person that appreciates the extant that is Progressive Death Metal, and while the drums struggle a small fraction in terms of mixing, the fuller extent of the band is that their sound is unbridled and of a creation all of their own.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Omen
2. Initio
3. Rane
4. Walking Ghost
5. Solitude
6. Dysplasia
7. Incarnation
8. Void Of Heart
9. Forgotten
Florian Betz — Bass
Alex Serrano — Drums
Jan Heidelberger — Guitars
Alex Jelinek — Guitars
Anika Ov Moseberg — Vocals
Record Label: Black Sunset


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Edited 03 December 2022

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