December 5, 2018

Vvilderness - Devour the Sun

By Hera Vidal. The news has been dark lately. There have been enough mass murders and killings in America to make one almost desire to tune out the world and hide under the covers, waiting for the end to come.
By Hera Vidal.

Cover art by Vvildr

The news has been dark lately. There have been enough mass murders and killings in America to make one almost desire to tune out the world and hide under the covers, waiting for the end to come. It also makes one hyper-aware of what could potentially kill them, especially when they fall under a certain label or group that someone wants to destroy. There have been too many instances of death and destruction and, for one glorious moment, we all want to disappear. Because most of us cannot afford to leave society’s confines, we have to find other ways to escape, and one of those ways is music. While black metal continues to churn out controversy after controversy, it can still heal us. It can still make us feel something akin to hope despite the dumpster fire that continues to burn into the concrete of our homes. This brings me to Vvilderness’s album Devour the Sun, an album that brings hope and good tidings to the table through the melodic tones of the music.

Even though Devour the Sun starts off with a melancholy that can chill you to the bone, the second track “Sól” brings some color to the dreariness of what you first heard. While the black metal remains embedded in its core, “Sól” creates a majestic tonality that elevates the music to another level, taking advantage of the listener’s awe as the music weaves in and out of airy notes and contrasting layers of acoustic instruments. This continues on the third track, “Devour the Sun”, continuing the theme of acoustics as it weaves more sounds together, creating a warm dissonance that doesn’t seem to be out of place within the scheme of things. Devour the Sun reminds me of the album Infinite Ocean by M.H.X.’s Chronicles, as they both have a dissonance that acts in accordance with a theme. With Infinite Ocean, it had to do with the sea. With Devour the Sun, it has to do with purification and reincarnation, and considering the softness of the sounds at work here, there is something highly ritualistic that Devour touches. It almost feels like you are moving through parts of a ritual, as if you are being cleansed by listening to this.

As the album moves onward, the music takes a turn for the dreary and the melancholic. Gone are those bright, melodious tones that have been part of the general structure at this point. Now, it has shifted to a folk-like aspect, as if the music is preparing you for what’s to come. Whether it is burning your body into a pyre or becoming dust on the ground, it feels like you are being led to your final destination, and you can only walk towards it. With the closing song “Aftershine” – a song that spans 10 minutes, filled with strings that reverberate and echo throughout it – the listener is taken through a deeply sonic journey that is filled with warmth and joy that doesn’t let up until about halfway through. Once the joyous sounds are gone, you are left within this sonic abyss where the music drones, as if you have reached your destination and you are about to be sent elsewhere. However, unlike the droning I am familiar with, which fills you with dread and uncertainty, it makes you feel comfortable. It feels like you have fallen asleep and have just opened your eyes, now awake to embrace your reality, whatever that may be.

All in all, Devour the Sun is an album that comes close to purifying your world from the destruction you live in. For that moment in time, you exist in the sounds of hope, joy, and ritual, and you can only hope to take that with you once you are back in reality. This is an album I will definitely come back to – there is something that makes me want to explore it once more, as if no one can resist the siren’s call of hope.

[Devour the Sun is also available in a vinyl remaster. It's a little cheaper, and it has two songs - one for each side of the LP.]

  1. Amazing artist with many projects which all are excellent! This album takes me to another place in time a place we all love to be,stay and never leave! Fantastic

    1. I like this so I'll definitely be checking out some of his other projects. Anyone in particular you'd like to recommend?

    2. Highly recommend Realm of Wolves and Stvannyr and post rock project Release the Long Ships” this guy knows what he’s doing for sure...Brilliant work