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Vornth - Black Pyres

Black Pyres
by Ofer Mashiach at 01 February 2017, 10:13 PM

I love reviewing bands I'm not familiar with; this unfamiliarity keeps me unbiased and makes me pay attention closely. For me, this is specifically true whenever I have to deal with materials from the Black Metal territory. I've been a metalhead for 30 years now, but it wasn't until last year that I finally felt prepared to deal with the aesthetics of this genre and learn to appreciate it for what it was. Then, the whole gamut stretched before me and I started to see the nuances and establish my own liking within the realm of the genre.

So, I was more than happy to review VORNTH's sophomore album "Black Pyres." These Swedes have been around since 2000, and this is their first release in 3 years. They play a brand of Blackened Speed Metal in the vein of early VENOM and even BATHORY. The album is fast all the way through (save for track 5), with plenty of fresh riffs and excellent guitar work. The album carries the same attitude that can be found in "Black Metal" (the album) and even has that NWOBHM-ish sound to it. The guitar playing, however, is more advanced; think of 1980's BULLDOZER combined with late SATAN'S HOST materials.

Immediately after short intro, the band dashes from the gates with the speedy title track. The sound is a bit watered down to my liking and could be dirtier, but the overall production is improved compared to their previous album. The soloing is competent and tasteful, never becoming cumbersome. The following tracks keep the accelerator floored and the RPM at the red zone. The vocal delivery is odd – it seems that Hartmann can't really control his voice. He sounds croaky most of the time, and his voice tends to break in what seems to be gasping for air, but every now and then he can belt high-pitch screams like the best of them. The bright side of this is that this primitive, unrefined vocal delivery enhances the dark atmosphere. The slow "Grave of the Living" does not belong in this album; not a bad song in itself, just too slow and overlong. Things speed up again after this one and never let go, except for track 9, "Serpent Flames," which is a mid-tempo epic piece with memorable hooks and diverse vocals ranging from storytelling to terrifying screams. The cathartic closer, "Kleptokrat," is less than two minutes, just enough time to arrive at the finish line in turbo mode.

This album is a beast and has a high re-listening value. It delivers the good rather effortlessly. Recommended to fans of BULLDOZER, GUERRA TOTAL and ATOMIZER.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Beyond
2. Black Pyres
3. Victims in March
4. Evil Woven in Spirit
5. Grave of the Living
6. The Wolf, the Night
7. Traveler of the Dark
8. Stormtrooper
9. Serpent Flames
10. Kleptokrat
Emil Johansson - Bass
Erik Kjönsberg - Guitars
Janne Rimmerfors - Drums
Erik Hartmann - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Iron Tyrant


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