Vyrju - Black - coverIt’s black and on Black Forest Records, that should give you some idea what to expect in the way of pine scented glory from this EP. Hailing from Norway but also with further flung help which I shall get to later this debut is essentially a project helmed by Jan F. Lindsø also known through his work with Gjenferdsel. ‘Black’ takes the form of a short introduction to this new project and hopefully provides a taster for things to come as it immediately struck as a formidable piece of work.

‘The Constant Void’ booms in and gets into a gravid and stomping beat which has a real pagan sort of furrowing groove about it. It wields a hefty bombast with spiralling guitar work joining as we await Lindsø’s vocals which when arriving are suitably coarse, venomous and indignant sounding, rasped out and on the verge of screeching. The high-pitched sound of them works in contrast with the rumbling heavy bass sound of the drums and musicianship. Its fist slamming stuff and thunderous, rolling away with a rotten groove about it reminding of everything from Kampfar to Loits and beyond. Some of the more venomous rasps and the overall epic flow of things certainly bring to mind Bathory and the clamour and sense of drama about this is definitely and defiantly compelling. Lindsø has a bit of a trick up his sleeve and it’s the reason I grabbed this one straight away as also providing drums on this and some clean vocals is none other than Tim Yatras of Austere, Germ, Woods Of Desolation etc. I knew he was going to make his presence felt once more before the year was done and he does so session wise here in style. Those instantly identifiable vocals croon in harmoniously after an acoustic interlude on second track ‘There Is No Grave Big Enough.’ It brings pathos, poignancy, yearning and sorrow to a track that had started off dark and stormy and it’s a big surprise if you had not expected it. The two styles work brilliantly together, there’s some lower gruff barks lurking with gravid intent before the clean parts flow back in and the music itself is full of a Norse blackness taking you right back in time both musically and historical feel; this is a place of dark feudal times.

Lightning the mood is an instrumental interlude in the form of ‘Gone/’ It’s short and sweet allowing the acoustic fretwork to spread its fronds reminiscent a bit of early Borknagar and Vintersorg before the final battle in the form of ‘The Residue Of Life.’ There’s a bit of a sense of doom about it before it hones in and goes like the clappers giving us Vyrju at their fastest yet. Drums clamour and snares clash as Lindsø yells away with a blood red battle charge behind it all. Yatras again pitches in as things coast along and again catches you off guard. It’s a form of beauty and beast vocals but whereas normally they would be done by a man and woman it’s an interesting way of delivering it here and also quite a unique stance and I hope this is a partnership that develops in future perhaps into a full length album.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)