Oh yeah! When southern madness calls, you better answer and be prepared! The Black/Death flagship from New Zealand is back, Vassafor is the name and “To The Death” (what a title) their propaganda! 3 years after the fantastic “Malediction” they created a new beast, their 3rd full length and a real Extreme Metal manifest.
1 hour, 5 minutes and 33 seconds of fire, fury, suffocation, strangulation, mind pollution and the stench of total DEATH! It’s not going to be an easy ride as the signs for war are everywhere. Fast chaotic, the intro itself starts sick as fuck with guitarfeedbacks and noises accompanied by drums that set the pace for the next section with killer riffs before the track builds up and goes rollercoaster!
Doom/Death eerieness, Bestial Black/Death aggression, Thrash laden riffs here and there, female fatal vocals…this record got a lot to offer, shifting face quite often, ranging between the cosmos of Black and Death with hints of other sub genres always keeping “the thing” to the death.
The instrumental “Black Talon” brings back memories of classics like “Place of many deaths” by Morbid Angel or other tasty ambient like instrumentals. VK’s vocals are so disturbing and recognizable I just love it how he morphs, how he varies, brilliant.
The entire guitar and bass work is top notch and probably the most progressive thing he has done with Vassafor, always keeping the straightness in the centre (more than excellent songwriting). There are remarkable leads in it, some Stargazer/Lantern kind of thing, killer! The drum work by Ben is phenomenal, because he knows how to keep things interesting and suitable to the riffs that VK provides and the overall combination of skills and song writing makes this record a real monsterpiece for 2020.
Keeping the core and evolve isn’t easy but Vassafor succeeded and should now conquer the world. Another record on my list for best album 2020. Bang your head “To The Death”! (DPF)