Somehow our putrid site has come this far without ever turning our gaze in the direction of Vyrion. Doing so now creates a feeling of dismay at how much we have missed, because this quartet from Brisbane, Australia have already released two albums that are real gems. It’s hard to say they are underrated, because both Vyrion (2011) and Geo (2014) both received glowing reviews from respected writers, but it’s nonetheless true that neither of them seems to have commanded the level of attention they deserve.
Six years on from Geo, Vyrion are returning with a new full-length named Nil that will beindependently released on October 26th, and we can only hope that it will open eyes like ours, which for too long haven’t focused on Vyrion’s talents. Today our aim is to aid that process of discovery by premiering a song from the new album, a track named “Monuments“.
Even a sampling of tracks from Vyrion and Geo demonstrate that the band are difficult to pin down in genre terms. Their exploratory music combines black and death metal with doom, progressive, and post-metal influences, and their previous releases have also incorporated a variety of vocal stylings. From what we’ve heard of Nil, Vyrion have continued charting a path that isn’t easily labeled.
Nil is described as a concept album that tells “the stories of civilisations, from the cradle to their eradication by disease,” “basking in the glory of our war-mongering past and looking eagerly towards our decrepit future”. The band describe the song we’re premiering today in these words:
“The eponymous Monuments, erected to celebrate the past victories of a city, have become the guards imprisoning its citizens. Suppression and tyranny lead to unrest as the disease spreads from the poor to the police. It’s the sixth chapter of Nil….”
The song is a journeying experience rather than a straight-forward monochrome of sound, but it’s fair to say that through all its turns it’s deeply unsettling, consistent with the narrative described above, and its mood-changing power is impressive.
An eerily lilting, crystalline guitar melody opens the song over a dim, dark undertone that swells into a massive vibrating miasma of sound. Methodical drum blows and abyssal bass notes anchor the low end as the riffing becomes a vicious drilling and flaring experience and the vocalist screams with spine-tingling intensity. The music seems to become an escalating fever of cruelty and pain, punctuated by maniacal drum eruptions that add to the unnerving impact of everything else.
Cold growls replace the terrifying screams, and the chords become a pounding and moaning sensation, a hybrid of malice and misery, before the song transforms again into a maelstrom of swarming, scything, and battering violence, through which the leads flicker and flash in manifestations of super-heated derangement, and ring out in an anguished, beseeching harmony that paradoxically becomes a mesmerizing experience, despite how unsettling it is.
At the end, the drums disappear and the sound morphs into like the audio expression of a disease vector spreading across a collapsing wasteland (you would sense that even if you knew nothing about the song’s lyrical themes).
We hope you enjoy “Monuments” as much as we have, even though it leaves such a deep chill on the mind. The album, Nil, is available for pre-order now: