"Death Cult"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Something strange and sorrowful out of Toronto, Canada here. VÖLUR are purveyors of a different kind of doom, one where the weeping sounds of a violin have replaced the thrum of an electric guitar. But it's still heavy in its way and if you're in the mood for it, it can be powerful stuff. 

Just four long songs here on "Death Cult" and each one is a pretty sad and depressing tune. The violins give things a haunting, ethereal sound, but the bass guitar is still here and sounding pretty thick. The pace also picks up now and then to something more urgent and harsh. That happens on opening cut "Inviolate Grove", which starts with a dreamy kind of undulating doom but mutates into something more frantic in the last third. The vocals tend to be harsh as well, with a witch-like female croak from violinist Laura and rumbling growls from bassist Lucas. It's avant-garde and sometimes noisy and there are points where I found it unpleasant to listen to. But I think that was kind of the point, as VÖLUR seems to be composing laments for the destruction of the natural world.

I think these guys will most appeal to those looking for the unusual and the more progressive. Straight metal heads, even those into doom, may find it tough going, but there is a kind of beauty to this approach that makes VÖLUR worth looking into.