Jyotiṣavedāṅga is the confluence of some of the most warped and extreme minds in the current Metal underground of the Oriental side of the globe. It actually makes a lot of sense to find a gathering of such musicians, despite the distance of thousands of kilometers between the places of origin of their four members. I'm speaking about Sadist (Deathmoor, SS-18, Goatpsalm, Tetragrammacide) from Stavropol, Horth (Sickrites) from Azov, AR (Banish) from Kolkata in India and Dimitry Kim (Sickrites, Goatpsalm, Do Skonu) from Ukraine.
I missed these guys debut, 'Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejections', when it came out, despite the great comments I read about them (as also happened with other Cyclopean Eye releases I'd like to have a listen to now). I probably didn't give them too much attention because, despite I have a real appreciation for the most bestial and noisy sounds in the extreme Metal genre, I also find quite a bunch of bands excusing their lack of ideas and musicianship into adjectives such as chaotic, noisy or bestial, so I tend to tread more or less secure ground and stick to the bands/labels I more or less know about. But it was a mistake in this case. Obviously, one thing I missed was who was filling the ranks of this new beast, as that would have changed my focus quite easily, given that Sickrites is, next to Pseudogod, the absolute best the Russian scene has offered in the last decade, and 'Irreverent Death Megaliths' is a real monster.
Anyways, when I saw Larval Productions would take care of this release, I was even more convinced on the need to check it, as their roster is, despite its small scale, very well envisioned and focused on some of the best acts of the most savage Metal sub-genre. And actually, on a first and superficial approach, Jyotiṣavedāṅga have everything you could expect/desire from the standard Bestial Black/Death Metal sound. You know, chaotic and grinding blasting shots of diabolical savagery in a monumental wall of sound and noise: low-tuned guitars flagellating you like razors, growling possessed vocals and high-bpm'ed blastbeating drums.
They definitely share something in common with bands such as the first Bestial Raids and Axis of Advance, Conqueror, Blasphemophagher ... Maybe their sound has a slightly more Death Metallized edge than most of the bands they are related to in terms of style, that could sometimes remind of early Incantation in a more grinding form (something like a simpler version of Impetuous Ritual maybe?). I can even hear some slightly more modern riffing in one or two of the songs on this records that come close to some SickRites ideas or made me think about a faster (early) Bölzer.
And still, there's even more to grasp behind that first layer pure extreme Metal. Their compositions are quite rich and varied, tending to that raw and savage blasting chaos, but also compensating it with some more atmospheric synth layered parts. There also some details that distance them from the more orthodox bands in their style. They have some weird or slightly different ideas on how to handle topics like atmosphere and ambience. Starting by introducing ambient-like passages through keyboard fields in between the tracks, which could bring them closer to the pure Black Metal genre or even to the Dark Ambient scene (although mentioning Darkspace amidst their influences might be slightly excessive).
But, most importantly, by overloading their already extremely intense shots with small doses of extreme (Power) Electronics that give an extra twist of density and chaos to their already very brutal sound. Although they have definitely taken some distance from the rawer and pure noisy/crazy approach that brought them comparisons to bands such as Nyogthaeblisz, Konflict or the first Tetragrammacide record.
Quite an interesting debut from a band whose main strength is actually their potential that is yet to be explored. And one of those records you can play over and over and, despite its intensity. never get bored of it. It actually became excessively short every time I listened to it, and I'm not simply speaking about it's almost 28 minutes of playing time.
I still remember buying Vomitor's 'Bleeding the Priest' when it came out (the one on Arsenal of Glory with the different cover and the 'Roar of War' demo as bonus, which seems to be considered a bootleg now), and feeling like I was travelling back in time to my early days of discovery of the Thrash and Death metal scenes. It was dirty, it was chaotic and it fucking ripped! It made me feel just as when I listened to the first Sodom and Destruction records. And that was an amazing feeling in 2002, when the explosion of Death Metal's comeback was yet to happen.
Now it's fifteen years later and these guys are still kicking ass despite their slow pace and absolute lack any intention to evolve. Or maybe it's precisely because of that? Well, to be honest, 'The Escalation' sounded slightly like an evolution, it was a bit more extreme than usual, it had faster parts, a bit more blastbeats ... As the cover suggested, it was closer to something like the early Morbid Angel. Also like Slaughter Lord stuff. It was great anyways, a very powerful record, just a bit different from the previous Vomitor stuff.
How about 'Pestilent Death'? Well, easy thing. Once again, it's vicious, it's savage, it's sharp and it fucking rips. It's also full of absolutely amazing RIFFS! In some way, this record goes back to the pre-'The Escalation' Vomitor, with a preference for very early Sodom, Destruction and Slayer fueled evil and headbanging Metal. There's still place for slightly more Death Metal'ish influences for sure, but the Thrashing vibe is definitely taking the lead.
Maybe even more than ever. Death Dealer and Horror Illogium are total maniacs when it comes to writing some of the most possessed and old-schooled Metal you can get nowadays. I love everything Death Dealer does, from his way of playing/punishing the guitar, the pounding open riffs, the shrieking slides and the King-esque solos, to that way of almost spitting vocal lines and his top Metalized screams. But that sort of battle between guitars that happens when those two demons get together is absolutely titanesque. I get the impression they have worked a lot more into the actual groove and cohesion of their lines this time. I'm also surprised of how well H.I. adapted to Vomitor given how far he is here from his work for Portal.
Another great point of thie record is the way Mr. Hellcunt blasts the skins, with that linear and barbaric rhythm that fits so well in their simplicity with the guitars. I'm not saying he changed a lot his style, but for some reason it sounds tighter and fucking aggressive. It might be how they captured the drum sound, because this very well could be the best drum sound Vomitor ever had.
However, and despite the more simplistic and primitive songs, the production is a bit less chaotic and cleaner. Don't get this in a wrong way. I'm (obviously) not saying they sound like a Metalcore band now, and all of the instruments still sound fucking raw and analog as fuck. But you can better distinguish every detail, and that helps getting dragged into the groove even more easily. The man behind the board this time was Mr. Aphotic Mote from the Portal horde, who recorded and mixed everything in his studio, which probably made everything a lot more simple now that his bandmate Horror Illogium also plays guitars for Vomitor.
I'm not spending much more time on this, as it's pretty straight-forward and I think I mentioned all that needs to be said. 'Pestilent Death' is a total and absolute banger that will catch you like an iron fist and force you to headbang for its 32 minutes until you loose your head. And the presentation basically gathers everything you would expect for this type of Extreme Metal: inverted crosses, skeletons and blood. What can be more Metal than that picture of the motorbike inside the fire circle on the inner-sleeve? Ugh!
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.