Even if you missed out on Vile Ritual‘s self-titled debut demo from 2019 or the Tongues of the Exanimate compilation of Vile Ritual‘s music that Sentient Ruin Laboratories released early last year, the linguistic embellishments accompanying the band’s forthcoming debut album would clue you in to the terrors of this project’s music.
Sentient Ruin, which will also release this first full-length (on June 16th), refers to it as a “psychedelic bestial death metal plague” emerging from “the bowels of hades”. Or try these vivid words on for size:
On the forty-minute, eight-track death-riddled hallucinatory tesseract, Vile Ritual unites the animalistic violence of bands like Archgoat and Von with the technical and compositional unpredictability of progressive and atmospheric-leaning death metal bands like The Chasm, Timeghoul, Incantation, Infester and Demilich to unleash a mind-devouring hallucination of mutated dark and occult death metal carnage.
In a way not dissimilar to what we’ve seen done by bands like Antediluvian, Howls of Ebb, or Chaos Echoes, Vile Ritual‘s aim with Caverns of Occultic Hatred is that of prying the listener’s mind open with violence, expanding it to dissolve the consciousness and using alchemical, ritualistic and esoteric orchestrations to create a trance-like state that renders the listener trapped and disoriented into a sonic delusion, to then bludgeon them mercilessly with the carnage of the primeval and barbaric blackened death metal that shapes the other half of its darkened, gruesome soul.
Or maybe just ponder for another moment the new album’s name: Caverns of Occultic Hatred. Or just stare for a minute at the cover art. Better yet, listen to the first single we’re premiering today.
As we say in the trade, “Living Hell” is not for the faint of heart or the fragile of mind. As the song’s name portends, it is a truly hellish and assaulting experience.
No scene-setting introduction here, just a fury of high-speed battering, twisted riffing tuned to noxious tones, bass lines that sound like subterranean thunder, and cavernous bellowing spurred into hideous shrieks. The fretwork is frenzied and the rapidly mutating sounds they generate are viciously deranged, like a madman has gotten inside your skull and is frenetically scouring it with steel wool.
When the berserker attack briefly spends itself and the rhythms stomp and stalk, the radioactive sizzling of the guitar creates an abysmal mood of illness and decay, Shrieking tones spear out of that gruesome heaving mass, a reminder that insanity still fuels the song — and the madness explodes again.
Angular darting arpeggios, squeals of string torture, bursts of jackhammering brutishness, insidiously squirming guitar convulsions, riotous drumming, and cacophonies of vocal monstrosity do indeed throw the listener into a living hell, though there’s something ebullient and exultant about these demonic revels. And yes, in a way it’s psychedelic — as well as psychotic.
Sentient Ruin will release Caverns of Occultic Hatred on LP, MC, CD, and digital formats. You’ll be able to explore all the options via the links below.