Sonic Devotion To Darkness


When people think of Black Metal, the first bands that most likely come to mind […]
June 7, 2023
Vredensdal - Sonic Devotion To Darkness album cover

When people think of Black Metal, the first bands that most likely come to mind are those from the Scandinavian region, such as BATHORY, EMPEROR, and IMMORTAL.  However, black metal has spread beyond the borders of Scandinavia, as shown through the formation of VREDENSDAL in 2018.  VREDENSDAL is a three-man band from Green Bay, Wisconsin in the United States.  To date, they have released three singles, two singles, and four full-length albums.  Their fourth and most recent album "Sonic Devotion to Darkness" was released on March 31st of this year, and it is VREDENSDAL's first record with their current record label Soulseller Records.  Much like the band's previous work, "Sonic Devotion to Darkness" contains themes that are prevalent in black metal, such as misanthropy, suffering, and anti-Christianity.  All nine of the album's tracks are absolute headbangers, with each song achieving a perfect mixture of Scandinavian black metal's influence and VREDENSDAL's own creativity.

The first track of the record is "Between Worlds (Intro)," which at first listen, doesn't sound like much.  It mainly consists of Goblin Reaper playing an acoustic guitar, but the next track "The Chaos Rite" gets straight to the point with Lord Mortkin's opening blast beat.  Many of the tracks on "Sonic Devotion to Darkness" not only have influences from European black metal bands such as IMMORTAL, but they also draw on techniques from thrash and groove metal.  Goblin Reaper's guitar riffs seem to fluctuate between a fast pace and a slower, heavier pace throughout the album, all the while emitting black metal shrieks that rival those of WATAIN's Erik Danielsson in evilness.  Lord Mortkin's consistently intense drumming and the lead vocalist's guitars and shrieks drown out Myrvandrer's muted bass, but that doesn't cancel out how incredible the songs sound.  The longest track on the record-the title track-contains a consistent thrash metal-like rhythm and constant double kick patterns, before closing with a synthesized piece of nocturnal creatures hailing the night's coming, solidifying the title track's place as one of the darkest songs on the album.  As I stated before, VREDENSDAL create songs based on themes of misanthropy, anti-Christianity, and suffering, which is evident in the well-formed names of the album's tracks.  Although Goblin Reaper's vocals are praiseworthy, they are mostly unintelligible, so written lyrics are recommended for those who want to understand what the band preaches in their unholy gospel.  The final track of VREDENSDAL's fourth album, "Eyes Glowing Black," opens with a sinister synthesized segment before transitioning into a black metal tune that's groovier than the other songs on "Sonic Devotion to Darkness."  Based on the lyrics of Goblin Reaper, this is also probably the most Satanic track on the album, so "Eyes Glowing Black" is a perfect way to leave us with a reminder that the band is anything but good-natured music wise.

"Sonic Devotion to Darkness" is a wonderfully crafted piece of American black metal, as it also acknowledges roots from the critically acclaimed Scandinavian black metal scene.  As the band's first record with the record label Soulseller Records, it seems that their work was put in good hands, as the production was basically flawless.  Lord Mertkin's bass drums were well-heard throughout the album, giving the percussion a heavier sound, which most likely could not have been achieved without Soulseller Records's work.  VREDENSDAL has clearly been around for a while, so they obviously have a fanbase.  In that case, then the band's fans will not be disappointed with this record, and neither will any fan of Black Metal-regardless of whichever region it comes from.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Sonic Devotion To Darkness" Track-listing:

1.  Between Worlds (Intro)
2.  The Chaos Rite
3.  In the Eye of the Well
4.  Nightgrasp
5.  Sonic Devotion to Darkness
6.  Cyclical Despondency
7.  Svøpt i blod
8.  My Right to the Throne
9.  Eyes Glowing Black

Vredensdal Lineup:

Goblin Reaper - Vocals, Guitars
Myrvandrer - Bass
Lord Mortkin - Drums 

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