ALBUM: Vanhelgd – “Relics of Sulphur Salvation”
LABEL: Pulverized Records
GENRE: Death Metal
RATING: 9.0 / 10
“The love of life has ceased in thee,
Who long hast known this suffering strife;
Then come along to rest with me,
For Death is better now than life.”
Those were the words that greeted me as I slide the record sleeve out of the cover, the words printed underneath a hand reaching for another skinless, decayed hand Sistine Chapel style. Honestly, that’s actually a fairly accurate summation of what’s in store here.
Vanhelgd was a band that was completely unbeknownst to me before last month’s ATW, and not only were they the most impressive band from the crop (to me anyway), they’ve also produced an early favorite contender for my album of the year. The music, as you’ve probably gathered, is some extremely filthy death metal that’s slathered in such a pure misanthropic darkness and hatred that even I am impressed by its attitude.
The whole package reminds me of a Swedish hybrid of Incantation and Asphyx with its mid-paced ugly grooves and Van Drunen-esque vocals. The lyrics are also almost entirely in Swedish, which I greatly enjoy. If you love your death metal with an extremely dark mean streak, Vanhelgd is an immensely fine slab of brutal groove to immerse yourself in for a while.
Review by: BH