Vaticinal Rites – Vaticinal Rites [UK, Death] (2021)

Standard

Caligari Records / Dry Cough Records | 11-12-21

A little birdie told me (read: one of my fellow death metal nerds and I exchanged links on Discord) about how there’s a hell of an underground death metal scene in the UK right now – especially in Leeds and London. Well, I guess there’s always been a hell of a scene in London: and Vaticinal Rites is a next-level addition to that pedigree. This debut EP take significant influence from South Florida death metal circa-1993; not so much your Morbid Angels, but definitely your Monstrosities, Malevolent Creations, and Brutalities. It’s all wrapped up in crunchy production that lends itself well to dive bombs and guitar squelches, as awesomely shown on “Burning Elysium”. Like this year’s Antediluvian LP, this release is even cooler given that it’s a bit of a product of information sharing: two of the members live in southwest England within Devon (according to Ye Olde Metal Archives), so the release was primarily recorded through sharing tracks back-and-forth. And here I thought my Top 50 demos/EPs/splits was firmly established; here comes four tracks that completely shook down the rest.

Self-Titled EP by VATICINAL RITES

Thecodontion / Vessel of Iniquity – The Permian-Triassic Extinction Event [Italy / UK, Death / Black / Noise] (2021)

Standard

I, Voidhanger | 9-3-21

The Permian-Triassic boundary is a great mystery of geological science: an event in which over 83 percent of all genera died. This period separates the Paleozoic Era from the Mesozoic Era – two of the great eras in our planet’s history. If you were a 6-year-old obsessed with dinosaurs like I was (or a 29-year-old like me now for whom that obsession still lives!), you might recall that the Mesozoic Era was when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. So what better two bands to explore this event than Thecodontion and Vessel of Iniquity? Thecodontion brings two black-and-death metal tracks from the Supercontinent recording sessions, which was my #4 album of 2020. These explore two taxa that emerged after the extinction, heralding the start of the Age of Reptiles, using dead-serious and extraordinarily researched history of both species’ classification schemes. Both tracks feature the band’s characteristic drum-and-bass approach to death metal with octave pedals to produce a unique, clean “lead guitar” tone. They’re riffy, clean, and filled with evocative solos that will click for fans of last year’s LP. And yet for this life to have flourished, death first occurred – that’s where Vessel of Iniquity comes in. “The Great Dying” is another name for the extinction event, and Vessel of Iniquity’s mixture of black metal and noise is perfectly suited for the harrowing, slow death brought to tens of millions of species. The track’s eleven minutes begin with a roaring wall-of-noise that gradually settles into a slow dread, later culminating in SP White’s layered shrieks and mournful guitar strums. Two stories of the same history – one of life, one of death – and an excellent split for all fans of extreme metal.