VETËVRAKH – DOMINION OF TERROR LP (Black Gangrene Productions)

Four demos and five splits later, Vetëvrakh finally got around to recording their first full-length and the possessed duo from Bosnia and Herzegovina have honed their malevolent onslaught to perfection for ‘Dominion Of Terror’, which is a truly evil as all fuck consignment of raw Black Metal decadence. In many respects, this record encapsulates perfectly everything that raw underground Black Metal can and should be, delivering 43 minutes of mesmerising, filthy, tortured odes to the dark one and his disgusting ways.

Though fizzing and filamentous, the music remains on the accessible side of raw, with every mouldy instrument clearly audible, the ghastly shrieks cutting through effortlessly to take up permanent residency inside your head. Each song is superb, but the stomping and harrowing, seesawingly-demented ten-minute ‘All In His Name’ at the end of Side A and the boisterous, orgiastic, utterly insane title track – the penultimate conjuration and one of four to pass the seven-minute mark – are particularly memorable.

While Vetëvrakh come into their own on these longer curses, availing of the space to spread their evil in manifold movements, there’s wonderful balance to the album and the three shorter offerings are equally well-crafted, each one contributing greatly to the overall flow. For a debut album, and especially within this subgenre, ‘Dominion Of Terror’ is an incredibly accomplished and impressive work – though this should not come as a surprise to anybody who wrapped their ears around this band’s previous output.

By its very nature, raw Black Metal can be a stubborn, illusive and challenging listen sometimes, but that is definitely not the case with this record, which is anything but noisy or cavernous. Nothing hidden or buried here, yet all the evil and horror seeps through in repulsive, abhorrent abundance.

Evilometer: 666/666