Tuesday 30 April 2013

Von - Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 22/3/2013
Label : Von Records

Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves, album tracklisting:
1. They Have Come (3:23)
2. Ancient Flesh of the Dark Gods (10:09)
3. Hands of Black Death (6:14)
4. Dark Gods (2:59)
5. MONSTER! (5:32)
6. DevilWhore (6:02)
7. iAmInHuMan (6:03)
8. RawRot (7:40)
9. Black Eyes (6:07)

Summon The Darkness...Dark Gods will rise! In the cold path of darkness, among the dread and pain deep within us, it is the will of the dark ones to enslave us. Dark Gods manifest around us, besides us, inside us. Seven Billion Slaves delves deeper into the cold and dark minds of VON. VON's creator and mastermind VENIEN!!! has tapped into his inner psyche and has willingly summoned many dark tales and ruthless hymns for the world’s seven billion slaves

Dark Gods is only Von’s second, official, full length album. Their previous discography is a collection of live albums/tracks, demos and EP’s dating back to the late ‘80’s. All of these recordings harnessed a cult following in the black metal world. The catalyst for the band beginning to record more prolifically after they reformed, was a one off show in 2010.

The latest long player opens up with the ominously titled ‘They Have Come.’ This is essentially an album introduction which sets the tone for the album and the darkness that waits. As the track fades, ‘Ancient Flesh of the Dark Gods’ follows. This is a ten minute onslaught of hellish proportions. The same, slower tempo of the introduction is upheld before some of the most guttural vocals I have ever experienced are unleashed. The track moves along at a very doomy pace. Slow drums that fail to resemble a recognisable beat at some points are backed with a repetitive guitar sound. Around the mid point of this opening, the band flexes their black metal muscles. The same repetitive guitar sound is retained; however the blast beat drums completely dominate the sound. This is an unbelievably good track.

As Dark Gods progresses, the album flits between traditional black metal and a more doom style (see Hands of Black Death, RawRot) however the title track and ‘MONSTER!’ are as black as it can get. The vocals sound alien like and yet again the drums are punishing. ‘MONSTER!’ is completely unrelenting aside from a couple of ‘breathers’ during its 5 minute duration.‘DevilWhore’ has no such breaks in it. This is a track that is ferocious and pummelling throughout.

The aforementioned ‘RawRot’ is a monster of a track. I imagine that if getting smashed in the face with a set of knuckle dusters, this should be the sound track to it. From the mid point of the track to the end, the hypnotic guitars and hammering drums are bludgeoning and savage.

Album closer, ‘Black Eyes,’ is a slower and calmer affair, however the haunting and sometimes depraved mood is still prevalent. The album fades out to hushed piano tones that just let you take stock of the assault that your ears have just taken (should you listen to the album!)

Overall, the album is a triumph. It is relentlessly heavy and demands your attention through its ferocity. Dark Gods is music for a dark, dark room. Be warned!

Words by : Dominic Walsh

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available now on Von Records Thanks to EarSplit PR for hooking us up with the record for review!