Album Title: 
The Proclamation
Release Date: 
Friday, December 4, 2020
Review Type: 

Once in a while (often more than once in a while – aah, life is good…), you just get blown away by a debut release of a (new) act. Well, let me introduce you to German formation Voreus. Okay, this band consists of members already known from bands like Funeral Procession, Abominations, Imperceptum, The Chainsaw Demons or Fiat Nox, but that does not necessarily mean another interesting thing coming up. However, under the Voreus moniker, they do have another interesting thing coming up.

Anyway, this well-behaved choir independently released a first collection of lullabies at the very end of 2018, collected under the slogan of The Proclamation. It was a digital release that unfortunately stayed beneath the radar. And that’s where the mighty Sentient Ruin Laboratories crew emerges. This Californian label had the bravery, the guts, and the intelligence, to have this material reprinted on cassette format and on vinyl (regular black vinyl, yet also a limited amount of red colored editions) (besides an extra boost via digital platforms). The band took care of the production duties themselves (guitar player / grunter Thousand Eyes also concentrated on the final mix), and drummer Odrep was involved with the visual aspects too. It makes this release a proud DIY thing for sure.

The Proclamation consists of five chants, which clock about twenty-three minutes. Actually, the first composition, the intro, called Trisagion, is an esoteric ritual, an evocative incantation, based on eerie, portentous synth lines and tribal chanting. Almost meditative in nature, this introduction created an obscure mood that works like an omen for the ferocious nastiness yet to come.

And believe me: that nasty ferocity does come, immediately, unexpectedly, and no escape is possible, no places to hide will be found! As from Progeny Of Fire, Voreus tries to pulverize the audience’s ear drums (actually, the skull included) by a morbid, infernal, disfigured wall of sound. Their blackened Metal of Death has a timeless approach, even though the Old School did have a huge influence of this monstrous stuff.

The main theme exists of little hypnotic guitar riffs (listen to the title track, for example, to experience those modestly used brain-twisting leads), a low-tuned string rhythm section, devastating and thunderous drums, and ultimately deep, growling grunts. The tempo varies a lot, from slow over mid-tempo to accelerating, with some blasting fragments included. Especially the massive drum patterns often cause that blasting effect, that sense of bursting-out madness. But the slower passages too are like a bulldozer, a shattering avalanche of noises and sounds. Only once in a while, but it is subtly interesting, a thrashing solo, short yet pungent, penetrates the main foundation, the basic structure around which everything is engineered.

A lengthy hymn (almost nine minutes of duration) like Descending Into The Infernal Abyss is like the highlight, and not coincidental it is the final evocation on The Proclamation. It’s the purest form of cave-like darkness, defining the whole of this EP, and going further. The first third goes on in the vein of the former pieces, with a whirlwind of harsh rhythms and obdurate aural patterns, and voices from the abyss. But then, after three minutes of crushing ear molestation, everything suddenly comes to a halt. Filthy and bleak guitar drones are accompanied by somewhat Gregorian-alike chants, veiling the whole into a mostly claustrophobic fog for sure. Step by step, the heaviness increases, climbing up to a monolithic wall of Doom. Or, climbing up must actually be replaced by descending, deep down into the darkest dungeons where no light will ever shine.

The sound is quite primal, unpolished and dingy. That too strengthens the anti-modernistic character of Voreus’ sighing. I wouldn’t call this deconstructive chaos cacophonous, but this stands galaxies away from virginal neatness. That does fit to the messages of love and tenderness, of course, haha. Maybe the final mix might lack of balance. It is a pity that the rhythm and bass guitars are not that audible the whole of the time. Yet then again, it sort of fits to no-nonsense approach for sure.

For fans of, well, everything in between Vassafor and Goatlord, Portal and Teitanblood, Archgoat and Pseudogod; even the cult of Hellhammer somehow injects this grim and smoggy effort…

Soli Morti Gloria! Only the glory of Death…