Vahrzaw are an Australian black/death metal band and this is their fourth album.
Having enjoyed 2014’s Twin Suns & Wolves’ Tongues and 2018’s Husk, I knew I wanted to check out The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men as soon as I could. This new album further develops the sound that Vahrzaw did so well on Husk, taking it further. The album allows the band to flesh out the progressive, technical, and atmospheric components of their sound, while still retaining the raw black/death assault that sits at its heart, only this time with a greater emphasis on the death metal side of their character.
Vahrzaw’s striking and individual sound sits not only at the borderlands between black and death metal, but also between straightforward composition and complex delivery. The band manage to somehow tie these elements together and balance them well, meaning that the songs on The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men benefit from both instant appeal and a longer lasting depth. As stated above, there’s more of a death metal feel on these new songs than there was previously, but there’s still more than enough of a black metal influence to satisfy and add substance. Throw in a pinch of thrash and some piercing melodies, and you have yourself a potent mix indeed.
The progressive and atmospheric aspects of the music are well-realised. Alongside the serpentine riffs and blackened aggression these are sometimes subtly incorporated into the songs, whereas at other times they are brought to the fore and the band’s entire focus is on crafting a mood-drenched macabre soundscape. While the technical delivery on the album has an increased presence, this technicality does not get in the way of the songs themselves, and aids them, rather than holds them back.
The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men is a very enjoyable and gratifying album. It rips and tears flesh with ease, while also providing a deeper level of immersion and atmospheric terror.
Very highly recommended.
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