For all those loyal to I, Voidhanger Records (and I’m definitely a confirmed loyalist), it takes nothing more to become interested in a band than simply knowing that I, Voidhanger has chosen to release their music. Having said that, the range of the label’s musical interests is quote broad. The choices will always appeal to adventurous listeners, but may not always hit everyone’s bullseye, given variations in individual tastes. Hence, even for ardent fans of the label, there is still a place for premieres such as the one we’re presenting today.
The song we present today is a demonstration of the label’s range. It is out on the most violent and mind-defiling end of the roster spectrum. But like so many I, Voidhanger releases, it’s nevertheless out of the ordinary, though in this case its mercurial permutations are twisted and tyrannical, catastrophic and crippling. The music’s morbid and maniacal maneuvers still manage to involve the higher faculties, in addition to being viscerally unnerving.
The song is “Vehemence“. The album is I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive. And the band is a diabolical duo from Ireland named Sermon of Flames.
At the outset, “Vehemence” creates an apocalyptic blend of titanic pounding and ruinous abrasion, of hideous howling and roiling guitar dissonance. In time, the music begins to split apart at the seams, revealing chaos through mangling and mauling cacophonies and extravagant vocals that straddle a line between singing and screaming. The drums erupt in a blasting fusillade, and the riffing becomes a devastating typhoon of violent fevers and brutal hammer blows, with the vocals reaching new heights of bestial delirium.
Cascades of dire, sweeping melody and piercing, desolate guitar-spirals add feelings of terrible magnificence and crushing hopelessness to the ruination, and plundering drumwork methodically applies a sonic crowbar to the neck, because Sermon of Flames apparently want you to move, in addition to wrecking your sleep with nightmares.
The brand of blackened death metal, harsh noise, and death-industrial sounds revealed on the album is a big step up from Sermon of Flames‘ limited-release demo, Heralds Of The Untruth, thanks in part to the recording of the album at a professional studio, as well as an elaboration of the malevolent methods through which the duo have congealed their nihilistic visions.
Speaking of the production, the album was recorded and mixed by Chris McQuillan at Úath Recordings, and then mastered by Tom Dring at Vagrant Recordings. The simple yet evocative cover art was created by tattoo artist Richard Carson.
I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive will be released by I, Voidhanger on September 3rd in digipack CD and digital formats, and on October 1st in a 12″ gatefold LP edition. You’ll find pre-order links below, as well as a stream of the record’s first advance track, “Chords Wrung From the Ribs of the Earth“. More compact than today’s premiere, it’s an unhinged discharge of extremity. Horrid roaring and maniacal yells accompany constantly mutating fretwork, breathtakingly destructive percussive assaults, and unpredictably varying tempos. Dissonance and discord reign as the music screams, yowls, and lacerates. It’s all exhilarating, though completely berserk.