As a band, with your first release you can either just release something just because you feel the need to, or you can make a statement with a debut. Vacivus will be releasing “Rite of Ascension” through Hellthrasher Productions later this month on the twenty-fifth. Going back to releasing a debut, Vacivus doesn’t just release one for the hell of it. Instead “Rite of Ascension” is their statement, their rite of passage through the burning gates of hell.
Being a relatively short E.P. with just five songs here to turn your soul into a burning pit of despair, Vacivus attack you right out of the gate with their venomous brand of blackened death metal. From the opening track “Dark Apotheosis” to the closer “Vacivus Aeternum”, Vacivus blast blackened fire through your speakers aiming to do only one thing, and that is to destroy your morals and corrupt your mind.
Through the course of the E.P. you can feel your soul turning into the darkest black imaginable. The last shred of decency has gone out the window and your last positive thought for human life destroyed as you wish to cast down blackened hell fire upon your peers. As all of your inner demons come to life within you slowly taking you over the soundtrack to such a demonic transformation would be this E.P.
As you press play on “Rite of Ascension” be sure to turn your volume down as the opener begins with some dissonant noises only to grow louder and louder into the thundering metallic battering ram that is Vacivus. All five songs presented are chaos controlled and very devilish. As most of the E.P. leans toward the death metal side of things, the black metal that is mixed in is very noticeable as well mostly within the vocals and the lyrics.
Having music feel heavy is one thing, but to have it be heavy and purely evil all at the same time is a different thing. You can have something feel and seem evil without it really being wicked, but Vacivus really seem as though they themselves are wicked and embrace the darkness with open arms. A lot of bands use atmospheric elements in their music to create a certain mood, and while that is never a bad thing, since Vacivus produce such a malevolent sound already there isn’t a need for those atmospheric elements. While listening to “Rite of Ascension” you feel that the music is evil, you feel evil yourself for listening to it.
Through the course of this E.P. Vacivus play tight and fast never wavering or getting sloppy throughout. The riffs are poisonous infecting the purest of hearts. They transition from a slower more agonizing assault to a more ripping of the flesh and hate filled riff and back again with ease. For the majority of the E.P. the riffs are of the sonic tremolo picked variety only slowing down when needed. Along side the brain melting riffs are some shrieking guitar solos which are well placed and break up the songs nicely before going back to hammering away at your face. On top of the sonic riffage, the drums smash their way into your ear holes with an explosive force, and behind that is the thumping bass that keeps pace with the drums providing even more depth and variety within the music.
At the forefront of the songs however are the demonic growls which the vocalist exudes. The vocalist morphs his growls into a higher pitched scream and back down to his unearthly lows with ease. The shrieks aren’t exactly as high as you’d expect from black metal and the growls aren’t that low guttural growl either. Instead they fit excellently with the music and the message that Vacivus are trying to portray. If the growls were any deeper and the shrieks higher it would potentially ruin the music, but since the vocals are very well controlled they fit right in place with the rest of the blackened concoction.
Vacivus display great musicianship within this E.P. They’re tight, fast and focused. Mixing those elements with the evil-and even incantation like lyrics-the blackened style of play, and the positively demonic vocals, this sordid effort is soul piercing. Whether you want to summon Satan himself, or have a soundtrack to a sacrifice Vacivus provide the right music for the occasion.