The title of Vorvaň‘s new album (Awakened) is fitting, because these riffs could stir the heaviest sleeping corpse. After vocalist Eli Mavrychev devised the Russian project in 2009, he recruited the band’s lineup in 2011. A decade later, Vorvaň is releasing their sophomore record of high-energy hardcore and progressive sludge metal. Imagine the furious momentum of Converge and Trap Them, mixed with the sludgy underbelly of early Mastodon. Awakened will release on May 28th as a team effort between Sludgelord Records, Darkened Days Records, BlackVoodoo Records, and Enrage Records. But Decibel Magazine managed to set our alarm a few days early. You can listen to Awakened now, fellow insomniacs.
“Paths We Have Strayed From” surges with hooks that set the guitar frets on fire. Pace-changing rocker “Niebo” invites some NWOBHM guitar theatrics before blastbeats demolish the remnants of those melodies. Every thread of fragile melody (like “Shaped by the Void” and the Baroness vocal hooks of “Red Mistress”) is eventually burnt to a crisp by speed and aggression. The mix by Kurt Ballou and mastering by Brad Boatright never buries Igor Butz’s bass, even while prioritizing the wildly energetic guitars. It’s an album of bold dynamic shifts, like the brief yet memorable cello-laced palate-cleanser “The Reason.” “Of Those Who Bled” represents the band’s most blended (Molotov) cocktail of influences, where D-beat and evocative doom collide with a common goal. By the time Vorvaň close with “The Greatest Threat,” you’ll truly be Awakened to this band’s talent and cunning compositions.