#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death Metal, Vorkreist, Behemoth
The second full-length from Italian black/death metallers Voltumna is a rather finely-honed mix of black, death and more modern elements to create a rather intriguing landscape. Full of scorched riffing, tremolo-picked rhythms and a choppy series of drum-blasts, this is firmly-entrenched in the black/death metal mold that serves as the fine basis here for the material at hand as this tends to race between frantic, intense bursts or more charging mid-tempo vibes throughout. As that forms up the majority of the work here, that leaves this one with some rather fun, stylized moments throughout here with this one getting quite enjoyable with that series of riffing featured here, especially once it starts to adopt slightly-stylized chugging riffing found from most Metalcore bands. Though still keeping firmly within the more extreme style of the genre, this sort of riffing gets introduced mainly as a way of integrating a more down-beat tempo throughout here in exchange for the constant blasting and tremolo riff-work found elsewhere here and it doesn’t really come off all that intriguing as there’s not a whole lot of really intriguing work done to mix those into the music proper. It comes off as rather lazy and doesn’t keep the intensity of the rhythms featured elsewhere, coming off as distracting when it’s in the midst of more promising ventures throughout here. Even the symphonics here are much more promising even if they’re in brief spurts that don’t really continue on through the rest of the album at large. The other small issue present is the faint, tiny drum-sound here that’s pretty weak and not all that damaging as it tends to simply go through some rather enjoyable rhythms but is so far down in the mix the true power of the drumming is severely weakened here which holds this back somewhat. Still, the songs here aren’t all that terrible. Intro ‘Roma Delenda Est’ opens with a slow-building riff into a dynamic series of swirling rhythms and dexterous double-bass blasts as the raging tempos fly through intense, frenzied patterns with stylized tremolo riff-work that carries into razor-wire patterns in the solo section on through the finale which makes for a strong opening effort. ‘Prophecy of One Thousand Years’ offers a more melodic tremolo riff with swirling rhythms alongside the gradual influx of grandiose double-bass drumming with a fine mixture of sprawling mid-tempo rhythms and intense blasting that continually forces through the more restrained and melodic rhythms in the final half for a solid enough effort. The title track brings along a tight, lock-step styled rhythm with dexterous drumming that rips into a rather frantic series of swirling tremolo-picked riffs full of dizzying energy that continually rips through the up-tempo sections before settling on a mid-tempo chug for the finale in a rather decent-enough effort. ‘The Alchemist’ blisters through raging drum-work and a furious series of swirling tremolo riffs with the frantic patterns and straightforward pace keeping the charging tempo and dizzying rhythms throughout as the dynamic riffing continues charging through the final half for a strong overall track. Instrumental ‘Bellerofonte’ features ripping razor-wire riffing with plenty of intense rhythms alongside the gradually building drumming as the chug-heavy patterns carrying this one through the grandiose rhythms featured in the symphonic-laden finale that serves as a fine mid-album breather. Blasting back into ‘Bringer of Light’ opens with blistering double-bass drumming and tight, frantic chugging riff-work keeping the dynamic energy throughout here with the slightly more melodic sections balancing out the more furious rhythms with the dexterous patterns keeping the blasting rhythms on track throughout the final half for a grand overall highlight effort here. ‘Tages, Born from the Earth’ slowly fades into an epic series of chants against the droning riff-work and drumming that quickly becomes a solid mid-tempo groove-styled chug with pounding drumming alongside the occasional symphonic washes as the churning mid-tempo energy continues through the solo section into the admittedly-intense finale for an overall expendable track. ‘Carnal Genesis’ features a bouncy up-tempo rhythm with plenty of dirty tremolo-picked rhythms against the frantic drumming while allowing for the frantic energy found throughout the main riffing as the strong charging patterns and stuttering chug riff-work carries along through the final half for a dynamic, enjoyable effort. ‘Measure the Divine’ uses grandiose symphonic washes into a simple chugging rhythm with plenty of mid-tempo riffing and plodding drumming keeping this one moving along at a lifeless pace with the churning riffing getting held back here in place of the symphonic keys and chugging patterns that move through the finale for another disappointing and overall unneeded effort. ‘Teofagia’ goes for a grander symphonic scope as the rumbling guitars and plodding drumming settle into a fine mid-tempo charge with the furious riff-work bringing the first half into a more energetic pace as the pounding drumming coincides with the increased tremolo-riffing patterns whipping through the intense final half for a solid enough effort. Their cover of the Venom classic ‘Black Metal’ features the same kind of whirlwind energy and savage attack featured in the original while the lowered drumming patterns keep this from reaching the same classic status by going through a respectable homage that doesn’t really do anything new that others have done to the track before them. Album closer ‘Tirreno’ features a mid-tempo series of chug riffing with plenty of symphonic works alongside the raging drumming the blasts through the swirling tremolo riffing with rather frequent and charging up-tempo drumming keeping the fine rhythms alongside the disjointed melodic final half gives this a solid if rather disheartening closing shot. Overall this one was a slightly disappointing effort but still comes off rather nicely at times.