Saturday, July 11, 2015
Vorage - Vorage  (Demo)
I still find it surprising how claustrophobia isn't a commonplace occurrence among heavy metal throngs with the growing evocation of these monstrous, murky cavern-core acts in the underground. What started with Portal, Mitchondrion and Ulcerate is now a hit trend among youngsters who practice this irretrievably clamorous brand of death metal that fans seem to so fond of, even though the initial gloss of the sound has arguably worn off within last 3-4 years. In fact, propagators of these cavernous antics have become so formidably numerous that I'm starting to think if I spend just a little more time in their nullified vacuums, I'm going to end up starting to acknowledge the low-tuned vocal mantras of these bands as a veritable means of communicating with the Old Ones, who, without a shadow of a doubt, are just eagerly awaiting for one of their metallic emissaries to conduct the action necessary for us to enter into their threshold where there's no coming back....
And this is where Vorage comes in. One of the newest entrants into this field of disheartening evil and murky abrasion, the UK duo lets loose on the same brand of malefic music practiced by some of their larger forebears, bashing neanderthal death metal that resonates with the reticent insanity of some Lovecraftian elder thing sipping up the Earth's oceans and then regurgitating them back along with all the culinary excess of its interior. Bombastic, thick fucking guitars rule the mix almost entirely, and the riffs revolve around a more syncopated, semi-technical refurbishing Incantation, Rottrevore and late Gorguts, and these drilling tremolos that spiral like cranial whirlwinds. Granted, if you've been exposed to this style, you won't be immeasurably shocked by the discord of it all, and I should note that Vorage keep things fairly 'death metal', without going far into these more atmospheric, chord-driven exercises in dissonant chaos redolent of Portal or the New Zealanders Vassafor, sticking to the groove rather than outright chaotic madness, but in any case the material offered here is freakish enough to impress upon the mind of any cavern-core or black/death aficionado. Ballistic grooves are abundant, especially with the title track, adorned here and there with nervous snippets of technicality, and the overall impact leaves just as much life in the listener after one spin as after a 4-hour roller coaster ride.
I could compare this to the Malthusian EP, which I also heard this year, although Vorage certainly retain a more dynamic approach to their inherent claustrophobic overtures, dredging bountiful tremolos and eerie fringes of complexity rather than sticking to the death/doom motif. That said, the title track, also the longest in this 3-track demo, flirts with the sludge of bands like Malthusian around half way through. Just bear in mind that none of the material presented here can really hold a candle to the acknowledged masters of the genre, and that ''Vorage'', despite its initially dark appeal, is merely an addendum to the earlier, less intricate work of these bands. Whilst bombastic, the Brits aren't really doing anything to challenge the book here: the brief ambient outro is frightening enough, and there one or two decent moments I'd cite from this demo, but nowhere is this as fibrous or unhinged as, say, their peers Abyssal, nor does it completely wallow the listener in as Portal or Antediluvian with the soup-bowl trope of ungodly hymnals. The vocals are there, these ultra low grunts and growls that are excellent set-pieces for the lexicon of the Necronomicon, but once more, there are dozens of vocal practitioners out there who can produce the same, tremulous inflection. Vorage somehow ends up in this oblique spot where it has the choice to either expand upon riffs or atmosphere; or, if they're aplomb enough, both. The demo itself showcases that they have the rudiments in both, but not only is the sound too primal, but there are already hundreds of similar cave-dwellers working on it. Even so, this is archaic paranoia of the murkiest, fuzziest kind, just another solid gateway into cosmic fright and abyss.