Vukari – Divination (Bindrune Recordings)Wednesday, 24th August 2016
Atmospheric black metal, a term that is in my opinion, redundant. Black metal was founded on the idea that its sound was supposed to be atmospheric utilizing unorthodox hypnotizing riffs, rhythmic entrancing drum patterns/blast beats and other worldly vocal stylings. A lot of time has passed since black metal has hit the extreme music world and the term atmospheric black metal usually means something subjective to each person who listens to the. Chicago’s Vukari utilize a style of atmospheric black metal that is at times imbedded with ethereal dream scape qualities but integrates moments of dread and heavy handed aggression, making their latest album Divination a captivating listen.
I enjoyed Vukari’s 2014 release En To Pan quite a bit, so I was curious how they would progress with their sound on Divination. Not that I expected a huge change in sound, but you never know what bands like Vukari will challenge themselves to create. I think a level of uncertainty for a band and listener is wonderful. It gives all parties involved something to look forward to (unless you get a Cold Lake, but anyway) and certainly more exciting than your status quo strum and drang.
Divination utilizes a sure hand in building its subtle layers of synth and guitar trade off, but the real dynamic is how Vukari integrate in the heavier moments of their music with these more ambient bits. “Invictus Maneo” and “Ad Delerium II” are perfect examples of how expansive Vukari’s palette is and brilliantly show case how to blend elements of Blut Aus Nord, The Angelic Process and My Bloody Valentine into songs that captivate the listener and demand a solitary, morning coffee headphone listen. With so much heft at Vukari’s disposal Divination can come across as overwhelming, but once you start to get a few listens in, the foundation settles nicely and Divination is something to behold.