Völur - Death Cult review



Reviewer:
8.0

14 users:
7.29
Band: Völur
Album: Death Cult
Release date: November 2020


01. Inviolate Grove
02. Dead Moon
03. Freyjan Death Cult
04. Reverend Queen


Death Cult is a strange and unique record. But surprisingly not in the way I expected…

When I saw "atmospheric doom" and "folk metal" in its genre description, I just had to give it a listen. The idea sounds so interesting on paper; how could you not want to listen to it?

So, like I said, Völur's doom sound is pretty unique, but not, as I expected, because of the folk elements. In fact, I'll be honest, I didn't really hear the folk influences on this latest effort. The description the band added to the album is the following: "Folk or traditional music playing an important role as exemplified by the violin replacing guitars." Well… yes, but no… I'll clarify. Yes, an electric violin has replaced the guitars, but from my experience the music itself sounds more like a mixture of atmospheric doom, avant-garde, and some post-metal. But, honestly? I don't mind it at all, because the genres they have combined on Death Cult work extremely well together.

This interesting blend of sounds is wrapped in a production that fits perfectly. The sound of the (electric) violin uses a lot of distortion most of the time, and it manages to give the music a doom vibe very similar to what an electric guitar would. Yet when you listen closely, you can still hear the identity of the violin. Excellent. The drums are overall mixed in well. Every part of the drum kit has its distinct sound. Personally, I prefer drums to be really prominent in a doom mix because they add a bit of drama and emphasis to the music. That's not really the case here, but I feel that that's more a stylistic choice from the band. The vocals also have a really solid production to them.

And that's coincidentally the next thing I want to talk about. The vocals on Death Cult add a lot of variation to the sound. Death metal growls, haunting screams, and eerie cleans are all present. They succeed beautifully at conveying the theme (lamentation) they were going for.

The music itself amplifies the feeling of lamentation, and the usage of the violin helps a lot to diversify the music. Droning vibes effortlessly flow over into melancholic and mournful clean parts when the distortion is turned down on the violin. The drums and bass add to the sound without overcomplicating things. This is an atmospheric doom record through and through and the many extra influences from other genres are there to enhance the experience. And that's exactly what this record succeeds in doing: it's full of atmosphere and the flow is solid.

Overall, this record definitely manages to be compelling from beginning to end. Two big reasons for that are the variety in the vocals and the many stylistic influences added to Death Cult. I enjoyed my second listen even more than my first. It's a nice album with good performances and definitely one I will go back to every now and then.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 08.11.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 73 users
09.11.2020 - 14:16
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Many band genre description and paid revives in metal hammer makes tro me try band and album. well I judge after I listen, as much I hear this one I did like older ones.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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09.11.2020 - 14:20
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Quote:

Völur is a strange and unique record.

Pretty sure Völur is not a record.
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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09.11.2020 - 14:22
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
That said, I can't wait to listen to this.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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09.11.2020 - 14:58
tominator
At best deranged
Written by RaduP on 09.11.2020 at 14:20

Quote:

Völur is a strange and unique record.

Pretty sure Völur is not a record.


Absolutely right! My mistake, changed the opening of this review a couple times so I must have messed that up somehow. I'll fix that immediately.
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10.11.2020 - 00:32
nikarg
Mod
I have only listened to the first couple of tracks that are already available at Bandcamp and they both sounded very likeable. The theme is also very interesting. I'll be checking this out for sure this Friday, it's pretty original and right up my alley.
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10.11.2020 - 02:47
tominator
At best deranged
Written by nikarg on 10.11.2020 at 00:32

I have only listened to the first couple of tracks that are already available at Bandcamp and they both sounded very likeable. The theme is also very interesting. I'll be checking this out for sure this Friday, it's pretty original and right up my alley.


Yes, if you liked the tracks that were already available I'm fairly certain you'll really like the other tracks as well.
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