Ov Lacerated Soil is the kind of release that could not embrace black metal tropes any harder if it tried. The debut release from Vox Lvciferi is filled with a sense of ritualism and hate, its hypnotic movements coming across as invocations to Satan and misanthropy. Yet there’s also a sense of rising above those who would pull you down, and of embracing the potential that comes with destruction. It’s an assured, confident debut, that recalls the masters of old without sounding like a poor imitation of them.
Opening song, ‘Enthralled by the Dark’, is the longest at over ten minutes, and as such feels like the centrepiece of the album. A heavy use of repetition and chanted backing vocals imbues the track with the feel of a ritual or trance, with its mid-tempo riffs and tremolo-picked melodies latching themselves in to the listener’s brain. A song of this nature walks a thin line between being hypnotic, or being simply boring, but Vox Lvciferi end up on the right side of that line, making this a powerful opener.
Following track, ‘Serpents Call (Devourer)’ opens in much more aggressive, up-tempo style, before slightly slower the tempo down as the song progresses. It opens up with some evocative melodies that summon visions of Nordic forests and mountains as much as they do of the cosmic genocide the lyrics describe, which provides a strong sense of contrast to the violence surrounding it. Closer ‘Scalpel of Truth’ spends much of its time with violent, chaotic riffs and blasting drums that recall many of the classics of second wave black metal; but the closing movement of the song is the best moment of the EP, when it slows down and marries weighty mid-tempo riffs to evocative, emotional tremolo-picked leads.
Throughout Ov Lacerated Soil, there is the sense that, whilst Ov Lvciferi stay firmly within the boundaries of typical black metal, the one-man band play with a conviction and passion that ensures any complaints about a lack of innovation are rendered obsolete. If you’re in the mood for solid, ritualistic black metal, then it’s hard to go wrong with Ov Lacerated Soil.
Ov Lacerated Soil is available via Bandcamp.