Vulvodynia – Praenuntius Infiniti (Unique Leader)

Wednesday, 15th September 2021
Rating: 9/10

Waiting patiently to climb up the extreme metal ladder, Vulvodynia have also made a compelling evolution in their sound from their very slam-driven brutal death metal beginnings.  Their 2019 release, Mob Justice, was one of the year’s finest extreme metal releases and saw them really stretch their sound past just slam and brutality into something just as heavy and aggressive, yet more textured and varied.  Praenuntius Infiniti sees the band now signed to Unique Leader and continuing to diversify their extreme sound.

Moving further away from a direct battering ram of slam and clichéd brutal death metal territory, Vulvodynia’s continued spreading of their wings is all for the better.  They can still drop an absolutely devastating breakdown or stomping, brutal groove when needed (see “Banquet of Enigmatic Horrors Pt 2: Agony”), but it’s also surrounded by eerie atmospheres, a step-up in the soloing department, or some frenetic speed runs that will make the hair stand up.  Tracks do a great job of mixing things up as well, going from a more mid-tempo and atmospheric bonecrusher like “Eternal Wasteland of Galaxies” to an ear-tickler of technical riffing and melodies in “Forging the Deity Crusher,” to a cinematic slow groover such as “The Seven Judges.”  Those favoring a good ole fashioned kick in the teeth will find more than your fair share too, with the aptly named “Ravenous Revolution” providing plenty of energy and ferocity while still employing some new tricks.  Most impressive though, is that this is an extreme metal release that goes at maximum volume for damn near close to an hour and still manages to be impactful and interesting all the way to the final track (“Deicidal Family”).  If that isn’t a potent testimony to their ability to include melody, technical stuff (without being too showy), and utter destruction, and not have it feel watered down by the end, nothing is.

Praenuntius Infiniti shines the light brightly on Vulvodynia.  Those who may have unjustly ignored them in the past would do well to give them a second glance.  Rarely can something so brutal and carnage-driven have the lasting power to keep it memorable for an extended time, but Vulvodynia have mastered that craft and are putting it to good use.  Death metal that’s explosive, ear-grabbing, and most importantly, fun.

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