Black metal travelers Vorga set out on expedition to cosmos on debut ‘Striving Toward Oblivion’

Outer space is both incredibly fascinating and utterly terrifying, and yes, both of those truths can live together in peace. I’ve been obsessed with space since I was a child, often spending nights gazing into the sky, almost assuredly making my parents think something was wrong with me, and maybe there was. But have you ever really thought about its endless vastness? That’s an intimidating thought with which to wrestle.

Heavy metal that is devoted to the cosmos always has allured me, and even stuff that isn’t necessarily created in awe of the great beyond but still gets me in that headspace always will resonate with me. So, when I got the promo for “Striving Toward Oblivion,” the debut full-length from German black metal force Vorga, I dug right into the thing. And I wasn’t disappointed at all as this thing is a rush from moment one, taking you on a sweeping, riff-encrusted ride that never relents on the intensity. The band—vocalist/bassist Спейса, guitarist Atlas, drummer Jervas—drives you into the stars and past alien worlds to places you only can imagine but somehow are able to visit with this eight-track, 45-minute adventure.

“Starless Sky” blasts open as the vocals hammer away, and the spacious aggression has its way with you. Fiery and fierce, the track continues to open deeper portals, chugging and tearing apart the machinations, pummeling and crushing to the end. “Comet” jars as it flies in with the shrieking tearing away, dissonance blasting your nerves. The chorus is as melodic as it is harsh, and things blend into a haze, stomping through the stars. Guitars tangle as the playing bustles, and then it’s on to “Disgust” that tramples heavily as it gets going. The vocals wrench as the band displays stunning power, especially with the drums decimating, and then things take a dark turn. The violence increases as everything comes unglued, blistering and bleeding out into time. “Stars My Destination” unfurls with guitars crunching and a fast, stunning vibe, keeping the pace with what preceded it. The playing levels you as the vocals storm, and the final moments sweep you up and dash you beyond.

“Last Transmission” opens the sonic floodgates as the riffs completely overwhelm, and everything else chews at your muscles. Speed and emotion are in ample supply as things turn mystical and tingly, shrieks rain down, and strange colors dash across the night sky. “Fool’s Paradise” delivers guitars that scuff you up, and the tempo trudges and smashes, feeling corrosive. The drama enters a star glaze as the wails echo and clouds darken, leaving an ominous sheen that explodes with power and fury. “Taken” rushes as the pace caves in your chest cavity, and massive melodies swarm and bring raucous rhythms, the vocals adding a dose of acid. The heaviness reigns as the morbidity increases, bringing weighty growls and moodiness, ending things in a pile of cinder. “Death Manifesting” closes out the record with jarring, catapulting power, feeling fiery and catchy with the vocals adding an extra dose of pressure. The whole thing goes hypnotic, twisting your brain in your skull, adding layers of agony before leaving this plane and blasting off to space.

Vorga have a stranglehold on endless riffs, interstellar melodies, and creations that capture your imagination and take you somewhere beyond. “Striving Toward Oblivion” is an exhilarating experience, making you come back for more journeys inside its own universe that leave you no choice but to expand your own dreams. This is really exciting stuff that should continue to take on a life of its own with subsequent releases.

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