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Vulvodynia – Praenuntius Infiniti

Praenuntius Infiniti
by Thomas Kumke at 04 December 2021, 10:02 PM

VULVODYNIA hailing from Durban, South Africa were formed in 2014 by Duncan Bentley and Luke Haarhoff. They play a mix of Deathcore and brutal Death Metal. Since their start, they released three EPs and “Praenuntius Infiniti” is their fourth full-length album. The album was mixed and mastered at Canadian Studio The Grid Productions by Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY). “Praenuntius Infiniti” was released via Californian Death, Thrash, and Black Metal Specialists Unique Leader Records. The album has a length of more than 56 minutes.

The 14 track show case “Praenuntius Infiniti” continues where VULVODYNIA have left with their 2019 full-length effort “Mob Justice”. There are a few differences though and most notably, the new album is considerably longer with just under one hour playing time. The Latin expression “Praenuntius Infiniti” stands for “Forerunner of the infinite”. The album kicks-off with the title song, a two minutes' acoustic intro which includes a spoken-word part, transitioning into the hammering “The Shadowy Descent Of Gaia” which gives a first taste for the things to come: aggressive guitar riffing, brutal growls, blast-beats and double-bass drumming, slams, tempo changes, twists and distortions in rhythm. The growls cover most part of the guttural range with occasional screams. The melodic framework has some epic and melancholic components. “Eternal Wastelands Of Galaxies” continues with the assault and it comes with a cool breakdown. The track is a bit more framed towards mid-tempo, the riffing has some groovy vibes, and overall there is some more catchiness in the sound. However, it does not take anything away from the brutality and darkness of the sound. “Eternal Wastelands Of Galaxies” has been released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

There are a number of guest musicians on the album and Jon Huber (BLUDGEONED) and Matti Way (CINERARY, LITURGY) were sharing vocal duties on “Praenuntius Ascends”. The track is has a lot of tempo changes and twists, a contributing lead guitar section, and a chorus section which is grim and doom-laden. “Praenuntius Ascends” is one of the highlights on the album. After the two-parted “Banquet Of Enigmatic Horrors”, VULVODYNIA makes a clever move with going back to the intro theme in the instrumental “Whispers Of Calamity” which transitions into the bludgeoning “The Seven Judges”. This is Deathcore at its very best and in particular the duality of the deep growling vocals on one side and the screams on the other side add additional layers of brutality to the track. Worth mentioning is again the fine lead guitar contribution.

While “Ravenous Revolution” cannot quite keep up with the slam festival, “A Cosmic Betrayal” is one of my favorites. It is mainly a head-banging mid-tempo track and it comes with another cool breakdown, staccato-like riffing, and a chilling atmosphere. Less is sometimes more and to abstain from complex textures make this track to one of the album highlights. Another banger is the short, but pummeling “Forging The Deity Crusher” and after “Funeral Ov The Gods”, VULVODYNIA close with the epic “Deicidal Finality” which is a worthy finale of a very good album.

Praenuntius Infiniti” is the best album of VULVODYNIA so far. It has its strengths in the crushing Deathcore riffing, the slams, the breakdowns, and the versatile vocals of Duncan Bentley. It has been a brave decision to release an album with 14 tracks and it does not really pay off, since there are a few tracks that cannot keep up with the very good ones. That does not take anything away from the fact that “Praenuntius Infiniti” is a very good Deathcore album. VULVODYNIA have improved in many aspects and in particular in the songwriting. The arrangement of the songs is very good and the album is well produced. With “Praenuntius Infiniti”, VULVODYNIA make the next step to become a serious force in Deathcore and fans can be excited about their new material.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Praenuntius Infiniti (Intro)
2. The Shadowy Descent Of Gaia
3. Eternal Wastelands Of Galaxies
4. Praenuntius Ascends
5. Banquet Of Enigmatic Horrors Pt 1 Terror
6. Banquet Of Enigmatic Horrors Pt 2 Agony
7. Whispers Of Calamity
8. The Seven Judges
9. Ravenous Revolution
10. A Cosmic Betrayal
11. The War Within
12. Forging The Deity Crusher
13. Funeral Ov The Gods
14. Deicidal Finality
Duncan Bentley – Vocals
Lwandile Prusent – Guitars
Luke Haarhoff ­ Guitars
Kris Xenopoulus ­ Guitars
Thomas Hughes – Drums
Chris van der Walt – Bass, Orchestration
Record Label: Unique Leader Records


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