It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review. Honestly, there hasn’t been anything that has stirred me from my new release cave—not until I started my reluctant post Labor Day Tuesday morning off with VRTRA.
This 30-minute debut release contains three monstrous tracks that ebb and flow like a writhing sea of hate. To be sure, this isn’t your traditional back metal as the listing might suggest in your preferred streaming/music service, but the band pays homage to the movement with their limited edition cassette release—which I am both sad and pleased to say has sold out.
“My Bones Hold a Stillness” certainly has black metal elements with shrieking vocals and drum breaks that are fast and loose, but what really works for me on this record is how the doom metal riffs tie together the atmospheric progressive elements with blackened roots.
The production of these tracks plays a segnificant roll in the appeal of this release for me as well. The drums are reminiscent of late 80s/early 90s indie metal, a la Ozma or Technocracy. When paired the huge growling bass, detuned guitars and vocals that sit way back in the mix, you have a rich palette for an exceptionally moving trio of songs.
VRTRA are extremely skilled at their song craft. The high level of musicianship is evident in the way that their performances favor the song above all. With “My Bones Hold a Stillness,” the anonymous (Sacramento!!!) band has created a perfect storm of blackened doom, just in time to welcome in the fall.