Label: Psychic Violence Records
Good things can take their time to come. Whilst there’s something to be said for bands who can capture lightning and unleash it in a rush of releases, others will achieve sterling results by taking their time, and finely honing their songs. Given that it’s been five years since Vilkacis released their initial EP, The Fever of War, it’s safe to say that plenty of time has been spent working on Beyond the Mortal Gate. Either way, it’s been more than worth the wait. This is modern USBM of the highest quality, from one of the scene’s most notable individuals.
Given sole member M. Rekevics’ involvement in bands such as Yellow Eyes, and having previously served live duties for Ash Borer, you can assume that the quality of Beyond the Mortal Gate is going to be high – and you’d be absolutely right. This record captures the wandering, defiant spirit of the best USBM and broadcasts it through 5 songs (and an introduction) of raw, melodic melancholy and rage. But more than that, it succeeds at tapping in to that sense of something greater than the physical realm, carrying with it that feeling of connection to the other, which defines all the best black metal regardless of sub-genre; something primal and all-consuming, that is greater than we could ever hope to be. It is a hugely impressive release, and sure to be one of the best to emerge from the underground this year.