If you are gonna thrash do it blackly said someone very sensibly once, or perhaps it was just me. That’s the way I like it though baby and a good dose of black n’ roll always hits the mark and perks me up a bit. Hailing from Nantes in France Vcid no doubt saw how many bands there were already out there with the name Void and decided to add a bit of a slant on their identity so they don’t get lost in the crowd. They obviously hit the attention of Ladlo Productions who have grabbed their debut album from recent self-release status and given it a home and spread to a wider audience. Local to the label, they were probably well aware of them but with just a demo and split with Blacktyde back in 2012 they are going to be new to the rest of us. It would appear that Vcid are a quintet all going by that initialised sense of anonymity and that is pretty much all that is there to be said on them bar the music itself.

The album comprises of 6 sharp and fiery tracks weighing in at 35 minutes. Starting off by casting the ‘evil eye’ of ‘Jettatura’ over us, a groovy thorn laden melody and suitably raspy vocals quickly hit the spot and are guaranteed to get heads a banging. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before but the exuberance and panache has it firing on all cylinders and will have you thinking of all manner of other bands who you are going to be keen to revisit in a similar fashion. Think along the lines of Satyricon circa Rebel Extravaganza as a starting point and some sinister occult guitar lines and the cleave of Watain and Dissection along with a good punky ballast of evil rock and roll and you should not be falling wide of the mark. Its infectious stuff and has a hungry drive about it, worming its way in your head and sticking especially courtesy of the vocal line “3 & 4 : rusty cradle / 5 stands for the bliss / Jettatura 6-6-6.” Slowing down a bit for ‘Theory Of Hail’ but offering no less in the way of rugged groove I am also at times reminded of Estonian act Loits which is no bad thing in my book and by now and after a few listens I am hooked on its barbed savage riffing and sense of grandeur as it slows to a shimmering obsidian and atmospheric break.

Tracks are allowed to fluidly sprawl to a certain extent lasting around the 6-7 minute mark without outstaying their welcome especially when songs like ‘Woven Woods’ romp in like a tank and gallop away with some great melody, trampling all to dirt with some particularly vicious vokill screams and gurgles before settling into a mid-paced sermon complete with excellent icy riffs. I’m drawn to the lyrics a fair bit here and despite being a French band they are delivered in English and draped in satanic and occultist imagery seemingly going above and beyond the trite making them an interesting read. ‘We Come, We Breed We Live’ gives us this script akin to opening a forbidden grimoire, “We swore an oath to the Swamps, Dominus Vermis Rex Inertia, asphyxia, witchcraft with tibias, hemotoxic trials Drown the Divine , expiate, only our Lord forgives Gracious fermata, in the cryptic fog Deep in the dirt, we found the Holy Ones” You can equally just enjoy the music on its prime and base elements and rock along to the bounce of ‘O.M.E.N’ if you wish without opening any accompanying spell-book. Personally though I enjoyed this on more than the one level and with final track ‘Red Cardinals’ similarly bewitching was pleased this album had landed in my lap.

(7.5/ 10 Pete Woods)