If star-devouring, cosmos haunting black metal is a thing then its harrowing home is with U.S. black metal duo Vaeok. Featuring members of Sargeist, Kult ov Azazel, Nightbringer, Adaestuo and Demoncy, Vaeok conjures images of mid-’90s black metal, the crossroads where early Emperor, Gehenna, and Diabolical Masquerade met, conjured ancient celestial demons to blasting winter storms, and wrote heavily atmospheric black metal together. While atmospheric — not symphonic! — black metal has been on the rise since the glut of so-called “voidgaze” black metal has choked our minds and imaginations, it’s rarely done with such quality as Vaeok exhibit on their self-titled EP, their first for German indie W.T.C. Productions.
Mixed and Mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio, Vaeok’s high-tempo, black hole-inducing black metal feels like it’s meant to be the soundtrack late-night drives across the Stygian plateaus of North America. There’s a certain aggression here that is often not delivered by Vaeok’s cross-pond counterparts. Indeed, the intensity of the seven heavens trem-guitars, the constant battering of drums — yes, with timpani! — and M.S.’s petrifying vocals is a unique experience. Yes, of course, I mentioned only European bands above, but there’s something unhinged about Vaeok’s violent murder of upper Elysium that is distinctly American.
Says M.S.: “The essence of this track is certainly something I have no desire to experience again. However, its origins are given justifiable meaning not only in its documentation but in the actions of its passing. A space deep between the rays of a sacred sun that must be ventured, in order to reclaim one’s rightful place within its light.”
Void the soul, soul the void, the soul void is here. Experience where nothingness is everything on “Souls Void.”