July 5, 2017

Triumvir Foul - Spiritual Bloodshed

By Kaptain Carbon. It has been a wild ride for Triumvir Foul since the project's debut in 2015. In these two years, not only has recognition washed over this act but its label / hivemind, Vrasubatlat, has also received considerable praise. I wrote glowing reviews regarding projects from Vrasubatlat
By Kaptain Carbon.

Artwork by Timo Ketola.

It has been a wild ride for Triumvir Foul since the project's debut in 2015. In these two years, not only has recognition washed over this act but its label / hivemind, Vrasubatlat, has also received considerable praise. I wrote glowing reviews regarding projects from Vrasubatlat and even did a feature on the labels output. With 2016 already seeing a heavy amount of great releases from Dagger Lust, Uškumgallu, Serum Dreg, and Utzalu, the label waited a few months into 2017 to release something very special, the second offering of Triumvir Foul. If things were not bleak enough for the world, then prepare for a rain of filth.

Triumvir Foul, out of the Vrasubatlat roster, is the most traditional death out of the bunch, but concerns itself with chaos and general mayhem rather than death metal’s traditional themes of death and demise. While there are certainly old school riffs that run through this record, Spiritual Bloodshed is much more interested in rot and ruin, on a worldwide scale than it is in mimicking any legacy band. Starting with the aptly named opener, “Asphyxiation,” this is a band that does not waste much time getting to their point. Death, destruction, and endless suffocation are the core values that are a part of Spiritual Bloodshed and, while this record is not as oppressive as bands like Revenge or Teitanblood, Triumvir Foul has found a medium in which complete and utter destruction can be entertaining and dynamic for its running time.

Comparing the project's two records side-by-side shows a similarity in not only the sound but also the outlook. Aside from the aforementioned penchant for destruction and grim atmosphere, Triumvir Foul poises itself as the aggressor in some mythical battle, either for or against whatever forces of darkness are set to consume the world. With not that much separating the two records, aside from small changes in production, the band proposes a second chapter in a gross looking book. From the doom ridden breakdown of “Serpentine Seed,” to the riotous opening of “Disemboweled Pneuma," to the punk influenced grooves in the colorfully named “Vomitous Worship in Rotting Tombs,” Triumvir Foul captures the essence of the grime that lays caked on the headstones of an endless underground cemetery. Yes, you heard me right.

Triumvir Foul, and that associated bands of Vrasubatlat, have always been one of my favorite answers when people ask about the state of current heavy metal. While this sounds like gushing praise, the fact that Triumvir Foul and its label are experiencing popularity for basically independent releases is truly the current state of heavy metal. When fans can connect with labels directly, and be impressed for months and years with the output, it is that sort of relationship driving the current aspect of lesser known parts of the genre.

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of Triumvir Foul, and the rest of Vrasubatlat in general, is both the forward thinking nature of the bands and the ability to take worn tropes of the genre and make them frightening. Lyrical themes of death, destruction, and occult lore are heard in a dozen bands from this year, and perhaps every year stretching back decades. The ability of Triumvir Foul to mix what is expected and what feels unexpected is fantastic. Add to that the growing hype around this label, and a stream of releases that seem to add to a library of rot, and Spiritual Bloodshed is a victory lap around the nine circles of Hell.


Kaptain Carbon moderates Reddit's r/metal as well as writes reviews for lesser known black, death, and doom metal for Tape Wyrm as well as Dungeon Synth, Tabletop, and Movie Reviews for Hollywood Metal.
Tagged with 2017, death metal, Kaptain Carbon, Triumvir Foul, Vrasubatlat
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