The restorative powers of extreme music are hardly in dispute at this point. Irrespective of reasons why, listening to truly horrible, grim and violent music is fundamental to our overall sense of well-being. And sometimes, only the absolute most extreme thing will do. Whether it's metal classics like MARDUK's "Panzer Division Marduk", HATE ETERNAL's "King of All Kings" and ANAAL NATHRAKH's scabrous debut "The Codex Necro" or flat-out noise assaults like MERZBOW's immortal "Venereology", getting smashed to bits by insane levels of sound and aggression is simply one of life's great joys. With that in mind, VESSEL OF INIQUITY could be the perfect antidote to your post-pandemic funk, or simply a fitting soundtrack to your baseball-swinging, window-smashing personal meltdown. Either way, "The Doorway" is as visceral, filthy and extreme as anything else around in 2021, virulent super-bugs notwithstanding.
If you have ever thought that BLUT AUS NORD were a bit a too cheerful, VESSEL OF INIQUITY have a new shade of black just for you. In this twisted sonic realm, lumbering, drawn-out doom is just as important as the relentless scree of maxed-out electronics and black metal blasting that dominates much of "The Doorway". This is a profoundly despondent and hateful howl into the void, with no light, no love and only the bitter laughter of the unjustly defeated. In particular, the 12-minute funeral grind of "By Allusion Called" is heroically grim and unrelenting. Elsewhere, the meandering horror of "Three Drops of Milk Before Retiring" begins like an underwater acid trip before swiftly transitioning into the sound of a bombing raid on some gargantuan pan-dimensional scrapyard. Even the more straightforward songs are delivered with such skull-shattering, everything-on-11 intensity that the riffs warp and weft in the air, beholden to the vagaries of demons unleashed and transformed into an inhuman rush of ugly power. "Dying" and the title track are both ferocious, while "Self Not Self" blends feral insanity with more suppurating, tectonic doom. Those with a strong constitution will note that the closing "Ascension" is the best of the lot: nine minutes of untamed black metal anarchy, delivered with psychotic levels of malicious energy.
In the best possible way, "The Doorway" is exhausting. Play it really loud when you want your visitors to leave. Trust me.