Vornth - Vornth - (8/10)
Published on February 23, 2014
Sweden’s Vornth was formed in 2000 and kept relatively quiet for the first thirteen years of their existence. The band released a demo in 2006, Die Hard, which showcased six tracks of blackened thrashing heavy metal. The band released two limited singles, in 2009 and 2013, before summoning their first full length album in the middle of 2013 (vinyl release in August of 2013; CD release in January of 2014), the eponymously titled Vornth. Featuring several Swedish black metal veterans, Vornth’s debut full length album features nearly an hour of metal mayhem over twelve tracks.
Vornth hearkens back to the eighties, in production, in sound and in atmosphere. The production isn’t thin or weak by any means, but you can just feel those layers of sweat and booze from a crowded basement show. The entire affair screams early Kreator and Destruction, with tinges of the early black metal and death metal scenes. Vornth’s debut album is full of thrash beats, furious nonstop riffing, snarled vocals and is peppered with occult themes and lyrics about hell and metal. It really doesn’t get better than that, does it? Even the artwork on this beast screams cult eighties metal. You really shouldn’t be shocked when you press play, then, should you?
Vornth doesn’t fail to deliver. Conjuring a sound similar to fellow Swedes Nifelheim and Brazilian death lords Vulcano, Vornth offers a release chock full of throwback hymns ranging from blackened thrashing to dirty speed metal to straight up blasphemous heavy metal. Vornth is a varied album, but it’s varied while remaining consistently heavy and thrashing. The only lulls during the sixty minute hellride occur during “Bleed” and “Death’s Horse” which feature melodic guitars, clean yet gruff mid-range vocals, which rather than taking away from the band’s momentum help to add an air of occult mysticism a la Mercyful Fate. Those two tracks aside, though, it’s pretty much nonstop blackened thrash with speed metal solos and snarled vocals.
The guitar duo of Erik Kjönsberg and Erik Hartmann should be given credit for the sheer ferocity of this album, because Vornth is just one constant blasting thrash riff. Combing the fast paced fretwork of the Teutonic titans of old (like on “Devil”) with the groove-laden, often galloping power of the Bay Area scene (like on “Rapid Death”), and the riffs are just layered one after the other and there’s not a dud in the bunch. The bass work is solid, but doesn’t stand out as anything extraordinary, but with Vornth’s chosen style it’s not surprising. The drum work is also solid, relatively standard thrash beats and a few forays into blasting double bass, but it’s not mind blowing. Like I said, the credit needs to go to the Erik’s for the thrashter-piece.
Vornth is sure to please fans of grimy, slimy blackened thrashing. If you dig the eighties underground, especially the style of early Sodom, Kreator and Destruction, Vornth will be right up your alley. Vornth boasts a blackened, cult atmosphere that should appeal to fans of Mercyful Fate and the like. This isn’t an overly original piece of music, but it’s one of the most solid throwbacks you’ll find in this day and age of digital recording and studio magic. While I hope Vornth is able to keep their eighties sound, perhaps a fuller production could benefit the band. Only time will tell…