Vij (Вий) – Oblivium (Review)

Vij (Вий) - ObliviumThis is the second album from Вий, (otherwise known as Vij), an Italian doom/sludge band.

Vij’s music is dark and heavy, combining harsh sludge and funeral doom. It’s a great mixture of the two styles, making for an absorbing album that’s a little different from what many other doom/sludge bands are doing.

Bleak and unforgiving, with grim atmosphere and brutal heaviness, these songs crush and devour the listener with merciless waves of dense distortion. The music carries with it the abrasive nature of sludge and the hopeless feeling of despondent funeral doom, bringing the two together into 38 minutes of highly engaging misery.

Vij know enough about what makes good music to know that they need to layer and vary their heaviness, and they do this well. A track like The Black Monk is an exemplar of this, building mood and atmosphere with forlorn winding funereal melody, before unleashing the full weight of their sludge assault on the listener, even including some savage blasting to keep things lethal in the middle. Anxietatem is another particularly strong cut.

Yes, Oblivium is a nicely textured piece of gloomy work, with everything from glacially slow doom to unhinged sludge ferocity, (heavily weighted towards the former overall, of course). It’s well-written and extremely enjoyable, and I have really taken to what Vij have to offer here.

As for the vocals, these range from cruel roars to deep, pitiless growls. As well-performed as the music is, the singer’s voice is inhuman and unkind, and sounds just great.

Damn, Oblivium is a top listen. Anyone into bleak, hopeless, doom/sludge heaviness needs to give this a listen. Very highly recommended.

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