Album: Deadstar Illumination
Label: Vargheist Records
Release Date: 09/10/2021
Country: United States
Vølus play an ultra-dissonant form of blackened death metal with elements of grindcore and war metal and a heavy focus on Lovecraftian themes. If you’re a fan of acts such as Portal or Abyssal then you will most likely love what is on offer here. To thank for this, we have the duo of Justin Vølus (vocals, guitar and bass) and Jared Moran (drums). By now you should all be familiar with the work of Jared as we have covered multiple projects he has been involved with. Justin also happens to be involved in numerous other projects including Maggot Crown.
Prepare for a furious and disorienting assault of extreme metal terror on Deadstar Illumination. Vocally Justin’s performance is primarily ultra-guttural and almost sounds like some sort of beast from Lovecraftian lore itself. The use of an echoed effect really helps to hammer this point home and add a cavernous element to the whole album’s sound. There are vocal segments where things take a different turn and a harsh screeched, evil sounding black metal vocal style is employed which adds some extra diversity to the mix.
Instrumentally speaking the guitar work is dissonant and unstable and serpentines in and out of focus in a dizzying manor. The bass work does much the same but sits lower in the mix However the element that truly makes this album so special is Jared’s drum work. The patterns, rhythms (or lack thereof) and time signatures used are so unusual and confusing that they really throw you off as a listener and instill a sense of total unease. Honestly this is some of the most abnormal drum work I have ever heard and personally I absolutely love it.
While there are only four tracks on the album, all of which are on the shorter side of things, this is probably a good thing. I think a full-length album made up of lengthy tracks of this caliber would drive a listener mad.
Seeing as this is meant to be quick review, I’ll end things by saying that this album is essential listening for any fans of dissonant death metal. This will warp your mind by dragging it into a swirling vortex of harsh noise extremity.
Listen to and order the album: