Demonian Abyssal Visions
Review by Alex on June 1, 2019.
Valaraukar shows us that you don’t need soaring shrieks and snarls for vocals to be labelled black metal. What is necessary is a giant lump of guitar riffs gallivanting around to a tempered drumming attack and more so, occult/Satanic lyrics and philosophies. This is balls deep black metal in the vein of the late first wave. This revelation of Demonian Abyssal Visions has the wisp of the ancients carved on every note, every lyric, every vocal. The commitment shown from the first to the last entry of this 42-minute tablet of invocations makes Demonian Abyssal Visions a challenging debut record from Valaraukar. The vocals are what caught my ear, like hearing a Kung-Fu master exclaim each move as he demonstrates proper execution of the technique; the vocals on here exhibit a similar quality; those spoken lyrics sound as though they are coming from the mouth of an adept occultist in prime form while at the peak of ethereal contact.
Hit with the eloquence of “Harnessing the Hostile Forces” and “The Unassailable Force”, you tend to forget easily that Valaraukar is just starting out in their quest. That's one thing I have come to notice, Iron Bonehead finds bands and projects that have a very unflinching skin of confidence and professionalism. When you hear good material from fresh bands signed to Iron Bonehead Records, it's either the members are involved in other notorious underground sects or the band in question is just that damn good.
The drumming and riffing is what truly holds all the pieces together on Demonian Abyssal Visions with a size-able amassing of alternating breaks and transitions from and into any section/s. “Visions of the Truth Amongst Black Fume” is a good example of what to expect throughout the record regarding how the drums and guitars are structured and integrated; it's one of the items that displays an astounding level of compositional flow. The drumming and riffing on this entry and the entire album remind me of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult’s mid-tempo technique. The way the transitions are handled add another level of gleam to an already seamless sounding debuting full-length. Great teamwork is shown between the drums, bass and guitars, they act as supplementing forces at key moments particularly when tip-toeing between the genres. Traversing amidst 1st and 2nd wave black metal with a good sense of variation, speed and structure is showcased opulently. And for a record of 42 minutes of music you would want to hear a change of pace and tone occurring often enough as to augment the atmosphere and ensure the listener/s with a gratifying experience.
At first, I was skeptical about the vocals as they did not have the traditional scream, bark, etc.; but after listening to the music repeatedly I began to understand that this is more of a declarative, descriptive/projective quest, a testament to the album title indeed. The phrasing manner in which the lyrics are constructed, created a feeling as-though the vocalist was performing a ritual, one in which he would broadcast his visions as they appeared while progressing; thus, offering a higher level of engagement with the listener/s. The way the music works around the vocals in summoning majestic moments as on “Red Eyes Behold the Heard of Ruin” and virtually every track gives the music a boasting attitude of ascendancy, making Demonian Abyssal Visions a vessel of tenebrous dominance.
Demonian Abyssal Visions is an intriguing record, one that should not be overlooked or taken lightly at any time.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10