Death Lurks… And VRYKOLAKAS Brings Chaos and Destruction

            An undead horror has returned to ravage Singapore, and VRYKOLAKAS incarnates this creature of lore with the classic death metal brutalization And Vrykolakas Brings Chaos and Destruction. The title of this third full-length scourge speaks for itself, with melodic intricacies embedded in its dense riffs, and they warp within a targeted percussive strike to wreak havoc on all things sacred. The rhythmic structures invoke frenzy and doom with other disastrous tones while lead melodies and solos compound the madness, and their totality forms a new bestial interpretation of this legendary sound. VRYKOLAKAS roams through these infernal hymns as they feed an ageless deathly spirit, And Vrykolakas Brings Chaos and Destruction possesses a raw quality and power to match the flesh it craves.

            Monstrous forces materialize in the rhythm and tremolo melodies approaching on “Silkhannas Falls from Grace,” and the tremolos lead with a reverberating depth to match the onset of guttural vocals. The double bass drumming converts to a grooved pattern as this riff continues with the combined power of chords, and it morphs again after a pounding break strips the distortion down to its primeval core. Layered vocal roars provoke an orchestrated frenzy, along with a lead to push its heightening effect, and this recurs with other alternating segments for a dual impact. Erratic structural shifts advance into pulsating tremolo and double bass accents, which persist in their entrancement between melodic deviations, and these evolve with rapid drum bursts toward a menacing tonal drop. Its heaviness merges with the continuum proceeding on “Kaf-Fa-Ra,” and a pummeling attack is sustained while intervallic fluctuations conjure an unsettling presence. Calculated notes punch through this developing wrath, along with maniacal chants of the song title during a chorus, and its intensity only relents for the heavy rhythm passing within a raw and crushing exchange.

            A heavy groove takes the initial focus on “Yajuj Majuj Versus the World,” but speed and power steadily culminate in a grinding surge as the arrangements progress. Various mutations occur before their frantic possession intersects with doom, and this burden lifts for a tremolo lead effect while the heavier elements regain turbulence. These reveal other groove and lead formations before reaching further devastation on “The Dajjal Brings Chaos,” where a technical mania precedes numerous developments emerging within a sinister flow. This delves into brooding low-end territory, and ruinous tones occur in a passage between shifting rhythms that reflect a raging ascent. The force behind a noted emphasis compounds the ensuing upheaval, which shifts to a slower pulse after another display of fretted precision, and it reaches blast beat intensity alongside a solo becoming with intoxicated potency. A raw introduction brings on “The Storms and the Shadows,” and drumming fury joins the ascending triplets to conjure the wrath of heavy progressions and melodic turmoil. A crushing impact results from the euphoric rush of intermittent soloing that shreds through this dark tempest, and bass lines convey desolation as the relentless storm continues.

            Riffs and drums conspire in rhythm on “The Jasad on the Throne,” and they create a swinging effect before unleashing an oppressive barrage, with vicious energies rising from the depths of its tremolo density. Noted vibrations follow during a chugged transition, and double bass reclaims the tempo with riffs incorporating hammered melodies. Frantic bouts of speed with heavy alterations also develop, and they subside for pounding chords that signal a return to previous arrangements. Repetition is noticeable on some of these tracks, but here especially it seems to maximize a cumulative force before the transfer to “Transcending the Quantum Realm of Barzakh.” Triumph is perceived in the opening riff, and raw tremolo melodies tear through the rapid heaviness as it progresses toward multiple detailed passages with chord strikes and other rhythmic accents. Deranged melodies evolve with harmonic convergence, and inhuman vocals project a foreboding tone echoed by the concurrent riff. A clean melody briefly interrupts this brutality, which then advances to its definitive execution on “Seven Steps Above Six Feet Under.” Intervallic notes summon all the preceding elements to a climactic onslaught, with a complicated interplay of melody and drum patterns that shift and blast while soloing drives the chaotic expanse, and the riffs push forward as vocals deliver their last invocations. A momentous zeal is sustained in this transcendent mass until its final pummeling infliction.

            Unholy themes of death and destruction embody this sonic punishment, which begins on “Silkhannas Falls from Grace” with a lyrical analogy to the rebellion and fall of Lucifer. His intent to “forever tempt the believers to a path of infidels” is then demonstrated on “Kaf-Fa-Ra” as the Dajjal, a false messiah, effectively deceives humanity. An inversion seems apparent with claims that “Muhammad and Jesus are blasphemers,” and religions are destroyed before corruptive forces intensify on “Yajuj Majuj Versus the World.” The predominantly Islamic references are intriguing, with the hostile energies of this track paralleling the Christian Gog and Magog, and here they succeed in breaking through the protective wall of Dhū al-Qarnayn to ravage the Earth.

            Havoc rises on “The Dajjal Brings Chaos,” and the inverted quality prevails with evil and blasphemy during “the age of debauchery.” Demonic hordes seek vengeance on humanity from “the banishment of Father Iblis,” a name representing the lead Islamic devil, on “The Storms and the Shadows,” and another devilish embodiment reigns supreme on “The Jasad on the Throne.” Death follows with judgement on “Transcending the Quantum Realm of Barzakh,” along with allusions to varying conscious states during Islamic afterlife, and torture meets with suffering after being sentenced to damnation. This is also where the path ends on “Seven Steps Above Six Feet Under,” with “time was given, time was wasted, time was dedicated to sins” showing what led to it. These lyrics offer a different perspective on the standard death metal subject matter while reflecting the musical tone and substance of this work.

            And Vrykolakas Brings Chaos and Destruction lives up to its title, and the being in question successfully embodies the old-school allure through its colossal heaviness. The sound is immensely satisfying, and its raw edge takes the genre back to its savage roots. Various chaotic and doomed expressions manifest as VRYKOLAKAS charges this crushing medium with detailed riffs, and they course through equally complex rhythmic formations while melodies and solos extend their elemental vitality. Some of the songs were re-recorded for the CD format, and the streamed version below seems to include a couple of lead sections on “Silkhannas Falls from Grace” that are missing on the CD. This is a minor letdown, but leads to a bigger point that, while the soloing on this work is notable, expanding on it would maybe help justify some of the repetition and length on certain tracks, and also capitalize on the dynamic riffing quality noted above. This consideration in no way detracts from what VRYKOLAKAS accomplished here, And Vrykolakas Brings Chaos and Destruction instead leaves its own massive imprint on the immortal death metal bloodline.

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