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Vultumna – Ciclope

by Gary Hernandez at 16 December 2019, 6:09 PM

VOLTUMNA is a three-piece Black Metal band founded in Viterbo, Italy. Active since 2011, the band has one EP and four full-length albums to their credit, including a new studio album, “Ciclope,” which was befittingly unleashed on Friday 13, December 2019. The band’s style is blistering; their approach unrelenting. “Ciclope,” like its namesake, comes at you with single-eyed focus and delivers ten tracks (just under 43 mintes) of furious Black Metal.

Quick history lesson: Once upon a time, roughly 900 BCE, a lot of what we now call Italy was known as the Estrucan civilization. Volutmna was the deity of the underworld in Estrucan mythology and, according to some historians, rose to the status of supreme god in the pantheon. VOLTUMNA, the band, draws inspiration from this history, bringing to life, through their music and lyrics, stories and themes that have been buried and forgotten by modern civilization.

History lesson over, now onwards with the review. I would describe “Ciclope” in three segments. The first segment comprises the initial three tracks and is characterized by varied and complex songwriting and compositions. The album starts with the synth-laden “Entering the Wrong Circle.” While the track begins with suggestions of Atmospheric Black Metal, the riff-heavy second track, “Collapsed Island,” quickly dispels that illusion. Track three, “The Megalithic Circle,” feels like three songs wound up in one with major tempo shifts sometimes accented with lush synth melodies, at other times shredded with viscous riffs and pelting blast beats, and in the end all melded together in a molten wave of discord.

The five central tracks, tracks four through eight, make up the second segment of the album. These tracks are set apart by massive barrages of riffs and blast beats set at breakneck speed. Out of this batch “Cosmos” is the biggest standout with its hypotonic, infectious rhythm. And then there is “La Furia Dei Ciclopi” which perfectly captures what the fury of a Cyclops must surely feel like. The final two tracks are bottom-heavy with epic embellishments and fat, heavy riffs. “When Giants Walk this Earth” marches on your spine with Doom boots of lead and “Sublime Astral Conception” charges forward with crushing hooves of iron. These two tracks are my absolute favorites of the album, though “The Megalithic Circle,” “Cosmos,” and “La Furia Dei Ciclopi” also rank high.

As with a lot of Black Metal, the production values of the album aren’t great. On one hand, it lends to the overall bleak aesthetic; on the other, it robs the album of some of its more subtle nuances. Overall, though, “Ciclope” is an impressive album. I can’t say if it accurately captures the true Estrucan ethos, but it certainly exudes Black Metal pathos.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6


3 Star Rating

1. Entering the Wrong Circle
2. Collapsed Island
3. The Megalithic Circle
4. Cosmos
5. La furia dei ciclopi
6. Divine Bloodline
7. Hybris
8. The Double Spiral
9. When Giants Walk This Earth
10. Sublime Astral Conception
Haruspex – Guitars, Vocals
Augur Veii – Drums
Phersu – Bass, vocals, Programming

Record Label: Extreme Metal Music


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