Driven by an adventure and progressive imagination arguably absent from most other black metal releases, The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 from German metallers Vyre is a mouth-watering and testing journey for senses and emotions. Not a release to lightly listen to as it demands and coaxes an intensive investigation the six track inventive blackened soundscape leaves appetite and thoughts immersed in an extensive examination and sonic narrative which rewards further with each dramatic encounter.
Released via Supreme Chaos Records, The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 is a concept album taking the listener on a “dramatic journey through the haphazard evolution of a little planet in the Solar System, projected at break-necking speed by foolish policies towards an uncertain future dominated by technology at the expense of the human dimension.” It is an incendiary fusion of avant-garde and progressive invention to a black metal clad passion with haunting atmospheres which paint intrusive scenarios and provocative dangers that captivate and at times ravage ears and imagination.
The opening instrumental Small Bang Theory is a brief touch -down of the release’s body, the arrival of the sonic concept’s focus on the new undiscovered landscape. The title track immediately seizes control next, riffs storming the atmosphere with predacious rhythms matching their eager stride. Sonic colour and guitar bred enterprise brings the richly hued scenery into view, casting the premise for the rasping malevolent tones of vocalist KG Cypher to unleash the emerging tale. It is a hungry and striking incitement, the crystalline spots and melodic flames throughout expressive beacons and persuasion within an intimidating ambience. The track evolves and proceeds to explore an array of menacing and seductive avenues, the guitars of Hedrykk and Zyan fiery provocateurs whilst the keys of Doc Faruk tempt the imagination into picturesque black hearted beauty.
From the track alone the skill and craft of the songwriting and band is striking, every aspect adding an incendiary ingredient to the theatre whilst the production allows it all to breathe and unite with riveting clarity. Fragile Equilibrium is no different, its enthralling drama merging progressive guitar sculpted ingenuity to a jazz/classical bewitchment from the keys and a black intensity which envelopes from within the depths of the intrigue driven track. The rhythmic conjuring of drummer Android is a commanding cage but equally a rampant instigator of the menacing bordering on suffocating intensity, it matched by the stalking presence and murderous tone of the bass of T. Maximilian. As mentioned the album is not an instant persuasion, though first contact is nothing less than convincing, but as this song proves given time and attention the release has alchemy to its sound and evocation to its lyrical and pushy atmosphere which fills every thought and emotion to the fullest satisfaction and pleasure.
Next up Coil of Pipes is a scintillating eleven minute traverse of elegance and savagery, the track from exceptional melodic beauty turning into a bestial torrent of carnivorous riffs and barbarous rhythms before entwining and igniting both extremes into a compelling and exhaustive spectacle of danger and spellbinding imagination. The irresistible tortured grooves and melodic calms are especially irresistible whilst the electronic/industrial hints which emerge as a progressive flight soars from the darkness sets the listener up for the following Digital Dreams, the track a melodic caress building into epic crescendos with horns and atmospheric heights seducing the senses. It is a breath-taking piece which takes the album into a new dawning in its travel and the listener onto an invigorating and inciting plain of imagination, one where a sinister presence roams with bolder intent as the song progresses.
The release closes with Miasma and its broad and ever shifting terrain, the track again a twisting exploration unafraid to sweep senses and thoughts off their feet with a melodic grandeur and temptation or leave them sprawling with gaping wounds from a malicious creative assault. The song brings The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 to a towering inventive and thrilling conclusion, completing a rather impressive confrontation. On the down side, well it is not really a negative but Vyre does not make the album one which immediately makes it accessible which may mean many might lack the patience and bravery to dive into its demanding textures and oppressive depths, but for those that do it rewards with a thoroughly absorbing and impacting experience igniting strong anticipation for part 2 of the journey.
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