Apparently vaitojimas means gibberish moaning. That certainly isn’t a way I’d describe this album from Lithuania’s Erdve. Its thickly laid on heaviness is more like an assault. Impressively, they manage to hold their anger together and deliver slabs of meaningful form, starting with the title track.
What I do get is that this all comes from a dark and shady place. The start of “Isnara” keeps us hanging on with a level of threat, which broadens its scope while spreading the terror. The vocals and constant noise have an air of post metal sludge about them. What is most striking is that out of all this pitch black scene and apparent chaos, there is a hugely impressive atmosphere of tension. It helps that the music is fluid, patiently working its way from one apocalyptic scene to the next. I felt I was taking part in this ride, and enjoyed it.
I don’t understand the lyrics as my Lithuanian isn’t up to it, but this doesn’t matter. The fact that “Vaitojimas” is bloody heavy and has character and soul meant that a flowing vibe of darkness was swimming round my head. “Prievarta” (Coercion) epitomises this – thunderous and threatening as if a weight was hanging over me. By contrast, the instrumental “Apverktis” (Turn Around) taps at our senses with three minutes of ambient gloom before breaking open into colourful and typically strong riffage. “Pilnatve” (Full) again mixes up moods, but comes down on the side of melodic weightiness. This track in particular showcases the different atmospheres, which Erdve generate with power and skill. Quiet turns to deathly roars, and then an almost subliminal post metal mood takes over. It’s gripping. “Atraja” (Find It) maintains the tension but here there is a roaring fire. A break leads to a both explosive and dismal path. It feels like there’s a murder going on somewhere, but don’t worry. Erdve have control of it.
Never broody and always on a knife-edge of extremity and black soundscapes, “Vaitojimas” is highly impressive and accomplished.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)