For all but the most green of newcomers to the mind-scarring upheavals of blackened death metal warfare, Vassafor truly need no introduction. Their exalted place in that hellish pantheon has already been secured over the last decade and a half. In the well-chosen words of our New Zealand friend Craig Hayes in his review of their last album, the monumental Malediction:
“It’s hard to dismiss the feeling that a demonic presence is lurking when you’re listening to the New Zealand black metal duo. Chiefly because Vassafor cuts through black metal’s artifice to channel some of the most bone-chilling and inhuman music imaginable. Vassafor are virtually unparalleled in the field of ultra-violent psychic and preternatural warfare. Born from the corruption and chaos that underlies humanity, the band’s always maintained they’ve been inspired by genuine occult forces. That’s an entirely believable proposition too.”
Though there is now no need for Vassafor to elevate their reputation, they’ve somehow managed to do that through their new album To the Death, whose title itself is a proclamation that the band have made no compromise in their devotions and remain unflinching and in their iron-fisted embrace of dark and terrifying powers. Rather than retrench, they have set their sights on even higher planes of horrifying extravagance: The album is 66 minutes long and includes such monumental works as the opening 12-minute title track, the ten-minute “Eyrie,” and the 17-minute closer, “Singularity”. What happens in those experiences, and others, prove that if you think by now that you’ve heard all Vassafor have to offer, it’s time to think again.