Vit - -
Self Release
Doomy Black Metal
6 songs (49:05)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
Surprise of the month
Now this is pretty interesting. Ohio's Vit play a version of black metal that mixes in a few other elements, the most notable being doom. Oh aye, this is slow black metal. But that's not all that's here, with some element of folk, Americana and blues chucked in as well. Meld all that togethere and we have their debut -, a solid chuck of USBM if there ever was one. Opening track The Ardour of Saints has a kind of faster Agalloch vibe to it and is surprisingly happy sounding, but leads straight into the downtempo and nasty Swansylvania (where the band claim to be from) which describes the songs pretty accurately. It's slow, it's grim, it's harsh and it's pretty damned good too. It has atmosphere is abundance, which some BM bands try to achieve but end up with what sounds bad production instead.

The near 15 minute Ascension Ritual has to be heard to believed. A mixture of slightly out of tune (although not horribly so, it's subtle but noticable) guitars and banjoes create a great mood to the intro of the song that any band would kill for. About 3 minutes in the mood shifts from that sort of evil folksy sound to something a bit more ambient before the song kicks off proper with some fairly fast paced but still very atmospheric black metal. To put it one way, the song breathes very well. It's not a sheer wall of noise, there are nuances and details that can be picked out that accent the song as a whole and give it a more powerful feel.

Perennial Collapse sees the band go back into doom mode, at it's heavy. The drums have some random little accents and ghost notes in the background that you can just hear breaking through and keeping your head up through the the sheer doominess of it all. It goes into an acoustic break about 4 minutes in that breaks up the track very well, again channelling Agalloch and showcasing the drums even more before heading back into the sludgy abyss.

Puritan Ossuary is the closest the band come to a more traditional black metal song, which somewhat shortsells it. It mixes the standard BM fare with their own slow tempo styles to create an intense listen. The title track - finishes off the album. It opens up with a fairly slow paced acoustic section before bringing in the distortion and doom once more, then notches the tempo up into pure black metal territory and back down again, then up once more for the finale. Like its forebears, it sets up the mood very well and captures the essence that a lot of bands seem to miss.

This is an impressive debut by a band that have cracked the formula for creating good, atmospheric black metal. I'd be really surprised if someone like Profound Lore didn't snatch them up soon as they seem like a perfect macth for that label. The performances here are excellent, and the mixture of influences comes through very well and gives each song some points of interest, which for both black metal and doom metal alone can be difficult nevermind the pair mixed together. The band are streaming the album on their Bandcamp page, where you can buy the album or download it for free here:
Killing Songs :
All, but I'll be damned if the intro to "Ascension Ritual" isn't one of the coolest things I've heard
Jaime quoted 90 / 100
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