Vorage’s filthy, mind-altering brand of death punishes and captivates on terrifying first EP

VoageI have these dreams now and again that my face is being obscured by a fog or something like a blanket, forcing me to gasp for air and become terrified I am being smothered. I am claustrophobic, which I think explains it, but every time that dream strikes, it makes me erupt into a cold sweat and sit up in bed.

This reminds me just a bit of the music played by Vorage. While dabbling in death metal but bending it to their insane will, this band’s debut self-titled EP (released on cassette last year in limited numbers) is a warped, deranged bit of punishment. At three tracks and just over 20 minutes, this band should remind of groups such as Portal, Impetuous Ritual, Mitochondrion, and Aevangelist, who also blur the line between creativity and madness. The two who comprise this music—vocalist Al-Xul, and multi-instrumentalist A.H.S (also of Adversary)—do so almost ritualistically, with the music sprawling and stunning with evil precision and the vocals sounding like they scrape from the throat, through the skin, and into your ears. This is charnel misery that pounds you with horror and torment, and even at a shorter run time, you’ll still feel like you’ve been in a psychological battle at the end.

“Paradisiac” opens the record with imposing noise and smeary guitars, almost scowling at you from the floor and threatening to take you down with the chaos. This is where the comparisons to Portal feel most relevant, as the band compounds smothering terror and mind-boggling musical dexterity that will make their technical work sometimes go unnoticed amid all the smoke. The pace is dizzying and humid, with the growls slithering in the dark, the melodies lashing at you with monstrous repetition, and infernal vocals digging even deeper toward the end, eventually fading into a hiss.

“Deatheodidact” has strange, drama-rich riffs raining down upon you, with guitars spiraling out of control and a layer of soot gathering beneath. The melodies keep lapping, with the vocals burning in Al-Xul’s throat and the rest of the band clubbing you heavily. Every element continues to surge and stab as it moves along, sitting in heavy mud beds, leading into wind-milling noise, and slipping into frosty sound. The closing title track (band track?) launches into flames and tarry riffs, with intense and agitated noise and guttural growls that sound painful. Some of the music gets rubbery and disorienting, drilling a mystical hole in your chest and eventually disappearing into a noise haze that scrapes and chills over the track’s final few minutes. The stretch is eerie, cosmic, and an ideal way to finish this album.

Terror is abound, nightmares become reality, and yeah, you might feel like a million tons are sitting on your chest cavity when you take on this release. The filth and hell are impenetrable in Vorage’s sound, and as you find yourself dragged through the darkness on these three songs, in the back of your mind you’ll be begging to wake up. You will, but you’ll be psychologically altered once the experience is over.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/vorageband

To buy the album, go here: http://hellthrasher.com/shop/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.hellthrasher.com/