It has been 2 years since one of New Zealand’s finest and filthiest black/death metal bands VASSAFOR have released anything for public ears – until now, we finally have an appropriate double-sided LP release full of songs both old (on previous releases) and new. I have given this full-length a proper listen more than just a few times just to absorb the obscure and verminous atmosphere which is cast from start to finish. Obsidian Codex presents itself in a way which most “modern” black and death metal albums tend to lack in their recordings in terms of trashing out any type of clean sound or initiating a total storm of chaos while being able to pull off noticeable solos and guitar riffs in between. This record certainly delivers, as it is on the mark of 1 hour and 34 minutes of complete audio chaos and maddening bestial black metal substance. Although, I will admit that this record definitely is not for the “average” death metal fan – although both quality and quantity-wise, it falls no short of hateful sounding hymns for the listener to absorb in its entirety, but it is certainly a storm which not everyone will be able to endure, so proceed with caution or prepare to leave the hall.
“Nemesis” is the lengthiest track on the record, going for a good 23 minutes and 43 seconds and leaning a bit more towards the doom metal-influenced sound which stands out above the rest of the album. Although it is done in a way which still sticks with the savage obscure undertone and contains the same filth-ridden vocals of VK and foul sounding repetitive riffs throughout the songs’ entirety. This also happens to be my favorite track on the album because of its ongoing nature of hypnotic darkness and ambiguity presented with more of a doomy atmosphere above the rest. But, at the core of it all this is ultimately the source of Vassafor’s music which presents itself all throughout the ongoing storm of Obsidian Codex. It is neither a straight-forward traditional death or doom metal album, but a piece of work polluted with pure internal animosity and scorn for those weak of will as well as sensitive ears. This record is simply just filthy and closely comparable to that of being swarmed by an army of locusts with all limbs bound in complete darkness and desolation. There is no simple description or label to be put on Obsidian Codex, as it is an album that is far from simple in many ways. It is a vessel of black-death consummation that will grab you by the throat and drag and dissolve you into hell with it. Years of work as well as VK’s own personal reflections have finally been unleashed and paid off with great musical grandeur with this one.
Currently, there is no set release date for this to be available in distros yet, although it will be available on Parasitic Records before 2012 comes to an end, as well as Dark Descent Records releasing a compilation of older Vassafor material as well. But for now, a proper sample track shall suffice:
Vassafor – “Obsidian King”
Might is right. Play it loud.
Review by Tracy.