Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium (Pulverised Records)Monday, 29th October 2018
A confession is in order. In countless exhibitions to Armaggedon in Providence I looked at Vanhelgd’s Temple of Phobos more times than I care to count and never pulled the trigger. Something or another always lured me away (I never left the place without a spectacular find) and then all was rendered moot as I left New England. As it turns out that was a particularly fierce mistake on my part.
For the uninitiated (which until recently, I very much was), Vanhelgd is a Swedish OSDM revivalist that’s actually from Sweden and doesn’t wear out their welcome in the first ten minutes. Deimos Sanktuarium (which is a remarkably similar title to Temple of Phobos) comes across a lot like a forced-march toward a mass-sacrifice. The songs only sometimes break into sprints but are usually satisfied with a moderate, melodically-thickened pace befitting their comparably lengthy individual run times (most push close to or beyond the six minute mark).
And that’s okay here for the filth is real and it’s incredibly varied, melodic peaks and caustic valleys fill “Vi föddes I samma grav” and “Profaned Is The Blood of the Covenant” begins as a ritual, plodding along until the fire is added and it refuses to look back. At least until it does and it slows back down again to embrace its beginnings. Through restraint and with no rush to get from point-to-point, Deimos Sanktuarium is allowed to breathe as it wallows through its many blackened morasses.
For anyone familiar with the Swedish ‘sound’, you’ll find a lot to revel in within Deimos Sanktuarium. For everyone else, it’s a listen that’s flashy enough to catch your attention on the first go-around and dense enough to reveal nuances with each new listen. Follow Venhelgd on the path to darkened shrines and the putrescent void they conjure on Deimos Sanktuarium. Don’t repeat my mistakes from Rhode Island, go into the darkness!