Vassafor’s demonic darkness causes chaos, psychological violence on ugly ‘Malediction’

Suffering at the hands of demons—like, real demonic figures, not personal woes that drag down your life—can’t be something that’s over fast. I doubt it’s a quick off with your head and then it’s over. You’re probably in for a long, drawn-out experience during which you’re begging and pleading for the mercy of death so that you’re suffering can end. Come to think of it, personal demons are that way, too…

That’s a similar way that New Zealand cultists Vassafor approach their infernal servings of black and death metal. They’ve been making hellish sounds for a couple decades now, despite a lengthy lapse between active periods, and they’re back with their long-awaited second record “Malediction” that salts all your gaping, bleeding wounds. Over the course of five tracks and 50 minutes, the band—guitarist/vocalist/bassist VK (also of Temple Nightside, Terror Oath, etc.) and drummer BP (Malevolence)—spreads its torturous, Satanic-rich ideals to terrify and inhabit places in your mind not ready for such invasion. These songs drag face and chest across rocks and other rugged terrain, leaving trails of drying blood and bone behind as a testament of their ways. The band refers to their mass of chaos as Southern Vassaforian Hell, and when you tackle these songs, you’ll know exactly what they mean. You’ll feel like you’re on an excursion to total damnation. Also, both Iron Bonehead (vinyl/cassette) and Debemur Morti (CD) are handling this record, so depending on your format preference, you’ll want to know where to go. Both covers are featured below.

LP cover

“Devourer of a Thousand Worlds” is a massive starting point, a 16:26-long crusher that stands as the longest song on the album. Out of terrible noise come cavernous screams from VK and doom-infested bleeding that seeps into the ground. From there, a black metal burial destroys, as the song ignites and begins landing heavy punches. The sound is charred and marred, as creaky vocals sound emitted from hell below, and the storming increases into an industrial-style assault. Riffs return and thicken the rampage, while guitars splatter, and the back end has a thrashy atmosphere. “Emergence (of an Unconquerable One)” is full of demolition and echo-rich playing, as the guitar work rises and slays, and the band heads into a vicious gallop. Thick basslines arrive and act as a backbone, while doom riffs arrive and blacken everything. The tempo gets savage later, with guitars looping and causing hypnotic pain, and the final moments burning off like a sacrifice.

CD cover

“Elegy of the Accurser” has powerful riffs and a pace that stomps everything in its path. Classic-style black metal pours from their veins, while whispery growls sit beneath the madness, and the playing has an old-school quality to it. Strong soloing explodes from the pits, while churning growls peel paint, and the song comes to a vicious finish. “Black Winds Victoryant” is the second-longest cut, clocking in at 14:17 and beginning like a black-and-white opening to a classic horror film. From there, the music unravels, as guitars stretch and twist, grinding away and simmering in dark doom pools. Demonic vocals lurch while the music is whipped into a frenzy that seems impossible to overcome. The tempo slows to a mashing blast before the lid is ripped off again. Gurgling growling mix with massive roars, while the band compounds all of that with a war-torn storm. Closer “Illumination of the Sinister” stretches a healthy 10:44 and initially lets loose weird noises and haunting chants that crawl up your spine. Again, the band delves in doom, while the guitars catch fire, and a crazed path is carved. The band stomps hard but also infuses the agony with melody, which is both infectious and disarming. The monstrous playing only floods from there, ripping out serenity before fading into thunder.

Vassafor impress both with their bloody convictions in their music and the way they create a vortex of fear in their art. “Malediction” won’t light the fires of all death and black metal listeners, because their approach can be an at-arms-length experience due to the intensity and nature of their music. But make no doubt, this is raw, barbaric power that can get in your cells and transform you from within.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album (vinyl/cassette), go here:

Or here (vinyl):

For more on the label, go here:

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