Sci-fi has always been something I’ve been fascinated with, from an early age I have been a die hard Star Wars fan and avid UFO enthusiast, despite my crippling fear of aliens. However the truth is out there and it seeps into all walks of life, including music, the sights and sounds of alien life have inspired many people over the years from the early haunting tones of B-movies up until present day.

Vyre who were spawned in Germany are one such band who take these mysterious sounds on board their craft. Having formed in 2011 the band have since gone on to release two full length albums under the names The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 and The Initial Frontier Pt. 2, these amalgamated into a compilation in 2014, a pretty ballsy first move for an upcoming band I would say. This initial frontier has now been broken and it is time for the band to take one small step for man with their 2018 effort Weltformal.

The opening track of this album Alles Auf Ende is a pretty painstakingly long instrumental piece that encapsulates the dark ambient Sci-fi roots of this bands making however it fails to land, not flowing into the opening track particularly well. Putting my hatred of long intros, interludes etc aside the actual heart of this album is powerful. Shadow Biosphere gives us a first glimpse of crushing alien wrath with massive epic symphonic keyboards that descend like a mighty ray of terror, these elements are backed further by raspy Blackened vocals and devastating albeit simplistic guitar riffs and pummelling drums.

After we are broken in the album pretty much flows from there, A Life Decoded brings clean vocals into the mix and makes the apparent statement of a more mainstream Black Metal sound perhaps loosely inspired by the likes of Dimmu Borgir. This coupled with the almost Post-Metal elements of Away Team Alpha makes for a brilliant release which truly encapsulates the meaning of Sci-fi Black Metal, Vyre are paving the way for this ethereal sound in an easily digestible format that probes in a painless fashion.

Overall I would have to say that Vyre definitely do the whole extra-terrestrial Metal tag with utter perfection, this is mostly certainly not an album for Black Metal purists, the more Post-Metal/ Electronic moments are sure to cause offence amongst the most kvlt but for your average Black Metal fan this is an enjoyable, ambitious release with some real high points.

(7/10 George Caley)