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Vér – Apparitions Of The Past

vér – apparitions of the past


Autumn last year was the first time that I heard about this Canadian one-man act Vér. It was part of a three-way split on cassette tape released through the Wilt-Shine label on which Vér was accompanied by Hekseblad and Nachtheir. On that particular release Nachtheir was easily the best of the three, leaving a lasting impression, which, to be honest, was not quite the case with Vér. When I stumbled upon this full-length album, I had to look back to see what I wrote about the music on the split tape and found out that ‘Apparitions Of The Past’ is already the project’s second full-length album that came after the split with Hekseblad and Nachtheir. Besides the the debut Vér also presented an EP that was released in between both albums, so I clearly had some catching up to do…

And, frankly, to start off with a conclusion of sorts: Vér made some significant steps forward in the few months that have passed since I’ve last heard it. While there are some minor differences from recording to recording, the overall feeling clearly remained the same. The music has an overall feel of discomfort which is being evoked by a gritty and shrill guitar tone that keeps on cranking out repeating riffs and very minimalistic melodies. In the review of the split cassette I cited Mayhem’s ‘Grand Declaration Of War’ as a comparison, mainly because of the cold and almost industrial sort of vibe. That comparison does not hold up on ‘Apparitions Of The Past’, although it still sounds stripped down and it has a cold atmosphere, it creeps more to the grittier Drudkh album. Also because of the slow but sure way of tension building, long-drawn riff and melodies but certainly also because of a degree of leaning towards the Pagan/Folk territories – hence the enchanting cover art.

Yet, where Drudkh might be counted as a quite accessible kind of band, Vér keeps itself quite far from that term. The piercing guitar tone, the snarly vocals and the ever-repeating themes demand a bit a trained ear. Faidal, the only soul behind Vér, certainly proves that he is able to pull off something that sounds both compelling and crude, something that has a bit of an echo of the early Leviathan and Xasthur recordings. ‘Apparitions Of The Past’ might not be an genre-highlight, but it definitely is something that is worth checking out and considering the obvious step up from his previous work, Faidal’s Vér is a band that I will be keeping an eye on in the future.


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