5 Mar 2016

Vielikan: "A Trapped Way of Wisdom"

Progressive songwriting with a core of death
Compared to the more technical variety, death metal that is actually progressive is a rare sight. Some would claim the two are interchangable, but I would highly disagree. Some bands sacrifice listenability in favor of progressiveness and as such becomes much less accessible in order to get stranger. The Tunisian death metal band Vielikan goes in another direction, throwing those notions to the wind. While strongly rooted in death metal their style also absorbs the rich nutrients from progressive metal.

Comprised of seven otherworldly tracks of alien horror "A Trapped Way for Wisdom" is a collection of expansive death metal of Nocturnus-esque proportions. Not only does the album showcase the band's technical skills, but also their flair for songwriting. The vocalist brings to mind Swedish growlers like Mikael Åkerfeldt and Peter Tägtgren, flaunting his exceptional range in our faces. As mentioned above progressiveness and musical accomplishment needn't go hand in hand, just as you don't need to be a good driver to navigate a crowded city. Vielikan live and breathe through their sound, not by playing a billion notes per second at 250 bpm, but through unusual melodies and song structures that broaden, narrow, ascend, descend, extend and condense.

"Through the track "Zero Affection" the album comes to an early climax, but rather than going down hill from there the band continues to elaborate,"

The Tunisian quartet have got malevolent aggression, eerie slow parts and an ominous all-engulfing atmosphere all around. Through the track "Zero Affection" the album comes to an early climax, but rather than going down hill from there the band continues to elaborate, using that energy to keep going through several movements of varying intensity. The prophecy set by the cover, a landscape of something dark, spacey and esoteric, is fulfilled through Vielikan's lengthy songwriting. "A Trapped Way of Wisdom" is not an album you can just put on as background music. You have to listen to what is going on, and let yourself be immersed in their black ichor. There are plenty of details to be noticed, among which are the prominent bass lines that add to that sense of dread and intensity.


Released in 2010 independently

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