You’d think that a line-up that includes present and former members of kvlt luminaries like ANTAEUS, HELL MILITIA, BLACKLODGE and SECRETS OF THE MOON, as well as a handful of good (if not great) reviews would afford a band like VORKREIST some serious buzz, but this has not materialized. Sure, these Frenchmen have a strong niche following in underground circles, but you get the feeling that they deserve a little bit more than mere clout among elitists. So what has prevented VORKREIST from taking that ‘decisive step’ alluded to in the accompanying press release of their latest effort “Sigil Whore Christ”?
Riffs, baby. More specifically, great riffs. That is what these guys (plus gal) have been lacking for the majority of their career. Their hybrid Death/Black Metal sound is powerful, no doubt, but it’s always lacked that definite killer instinct. Thank Satan for fine-tuning, because the band has fine-tuned the hell out of the songs on here, or should I say they have fine-tuned the hell into these songs?
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Check out the rollicking (and vaguely groovy) riffs in “De Imitatione Christi”, and how well they mesh with the spoken word sections. Then there’s the riff-heavy onslaught of “Dominus Illuminatio Mea” which brings to mind an even more feral version of SLAYER’s “Hell Awaits” in many ways. Oh, and let’s not overlook the off-kilter DEATHSPELL OMEGA-esque guitar work in “Memento Mori”, or the total speed demon that is “Ecce Homo”. Yep, killer moments abound on here.
A lot of kinks have been ironed out. Vocals are more vitriolic, the drums have been beefed up (love the crisp cymbal sound!), and the riffs are more deadly than ever before. Cosmetic changes they may be, but when it comes to bands like this a little tweaking here and there is really all that you need. A few songs on here don’t really hit all the right spots, chief among them the slower ones like “Deus Vult” and “Ad Nauseam”, but overall the album is a great slab of focused, tight, and subtly playful Black/Death Metal that would make the perfect companion piece to GOATWHORE’s latest release. “Sigil Whore Christ” is the definitive VORKREIST statement.
(Online March 29, 2012)