Vukari – Aevum (Vendetta Records)Monday, 4th November 2019
Once upon a time, Vukari was an accidental discovery for yours truly. Though release in mid-2016, Divination didn’t cross my path till somewhere in early 2017. It was something of a revelation, an extremely pleasing mix of post-rock (…not post-metal) and black metal. At the time I thought no one combined the two aspects better (and that includes Deafheaven, which have grown into something altogether different). With Aevum I stand by that assessment.
This album too, unfortunately, managed to elude me with its initial release, despite keeping regular tabs on the band.
And that’s a shame because Aevum is a richly textured monster.
No reinvention of the wheel, either for the band or the sounds they draw from but an extremely strong showing. Melodically dense post-rock and very American-flavored black metal. The kind of thing other groups ply with plenty of fury and aimless wandering (see the most recent by Hope Drone) and Vukari sidesteps a majority of the issues with the ‘post’ addition (the fat) by not endlessly jamming ‘atmospherically’. Apart from the closer, everything keeps in seven minute range or less. ‘Post’ in the expected sense is best showcased in the groove-laden and gorgeously lush “Agnosia”.
The blackened sections, by comparison, while endlessly fierce tend to blur together (also kinda like the new Hope Drone). It’s when the sound opens up somewhat and is lest based in the blast (see “Voidwalker” that the band resonates strongest. Synth serves occasionally to both accentuate and suffocate and is never overbearing – it is used extremely well. Like aspects of Aevum, including its stark album art, it’s solid and tastefully done.
Where beauty and grotesquery meet and flourish.