The Voynich Code – Aqua Vitae (Review)

The Voynich CodeThe Voynich Code are a Portugese modern death metal/deathcore band and this is their debut album.

Okay, so if you’re a fan of Whitechapel, Thy Art is Murder, Fit for an Autopsy, Aversions Crown, etc. then you should definitely give this a spin.

As you would expect from that lineup of bands, The Voynich Code play modern deathcore, but also add in touches from other sub-genres to keep things interesting. Elements of progressive, atmospheric, dissonant, and technical death metal are all represented across the 48 minutes of music here, alongside a smattering of djent.

The Voynich Code are not afraid to push expectations, preferring to stray beyond a lot of genre standards for this kind of thing and instead embracing an attitude of whatever works for the song, works for the song. This element of experimentation has helped make for an album that easily avoids the inherent one-dimensional nature of a lot of deathcore; Aqua Vitae is a relatively diverse and well-rounded release that sounds extremely accomplished, professional, and confident for a debut album.

I like the addition of synths to their sound, adding another layer of emotive content to songs that don’t necessarily need them, but definitely benefit from this extra enhancement.

The playing skills of the band are not to be sniffed at either. There’s more than enough technicality on display here to satisfy fans of that kind of thing, as well as plenty of straight-up brutality and aggression.

The songs are well-written and well-realised. Alongside plenty of hooks, catchiness, and memorability, the tracks on Aqua Vitae offer huge riffs, sterling melodies, and songs that kick you in the teeth while also draping you with silk.

With a quality singer that can roar with the best of them, Aque Vitae is an extremely competent release. Boasting an instant-appeal heaviness that will surely draw plenty of crowds in, the songs also have a surprising amount of depth and longevity, meaning that once the band’s more obvious charms have captured your attention, these other, less immediate qualities, will surely keep it.

I must confess that I love this kind of ultra-modern delivery when it’s presented in such an enjoyable way as this is; The Voynich Code combine both style and substance, making for a very satisfying experience.

Highly enjoyable and highly recommended. Here’s a band doing modern aggression the right way.

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