Power, hostility, groove, technicality, venom, the adjectives could keep spilling out in relation to this latest EP release, Avgrunn, by aggressive blackened Norwegians Vingulmork.
The release clocks in at just over 20 minutes and doesn’t relent throughout the four crushing tracks. The package opens with ‘Ytterst’ and this is the perfect showcase for Jostein Stensrud Kohns vocals to deliver venom and aggression which annihilates your eardrums from the offset. Martin Kandola hammers the six strings and provides melody and speed in equal parts. The track is the longest on the EP, over 6 minutes, but this travels along like an out of control juggernaut and the journey is over way too soon.
‘Eternally Swallow, Eternally Keep’ doesn’t let up at all and transitions smoothly from where ‘Ytterst’ left us hanging. Simen Kandola is an absolute rabid beast on the drums. The track is bolstered throughout with devastating and mountainous drum work. Kandolas drums are the scaffolding to the track with Martin Storm-Olsen providing gargantuan bass riffs and melodies to help cement the track to the earth’s mantle with bruising and compressing powerhouse belligerence. The vocals from Stensrud Kohns are even more venomous and tyrannical on this track than the previous and it is vastly commanding and shows the true talents of Stensrud Kohn in every degree.
‘Land Of Nothing’ starts with a beautiful guitar melody and riff before the drums kick in and pairs alongside the six strings with perfection. Once Storm-Olsen joins the fray the track builds to a multi-faceted archangel which only continues to exude beauty with Stensrud Kohn bolstering the soul within. The track is slower than others on the release but this allows for the heavier side to be exhibited, however, just because it is slower does not translate by any means to the fact that it is still at a speed which would cause whiplash to anybody willing to let their inner groove flood out to the beat.
The last track on this brief whistle stop tour of the frozen Norwegian landscape is in the guise of ‘Doderlein’ and sees the band come together in a tight, technically advanced unit in order to create the most melodic, angelic and brutal track so far. It is groove laden and has melody and precision in equal measures. The track is a fitting end to a far too brief opening into the world of this Norwegian foursome and it bows out with complete beauty and aggression throughout.
The whole EP has a strong emphasis on melody and aggression and portrays sublime technicality and precision throughout. The tracks are thrashy with a massive black metal element within its makeup. The band has been likened to demigods’ Dissection and Old Mans Child, although with releases like this I feel they will be able to forge their own path and create their own identities within the extreme world. Some of you may already be lucky enough to have been exposed to the Vingulmork works, for the rest of you, make sure that introducing yourself to this band this is a firm staple on your metal bucket list
(9/10 Phil Pountney)