Having missed like many their self-titled album when it was released in 2012, it is with thanks to Memento Mori for resurrecting the potent and thrilling offering from Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferi (V.R.P.I.) once again for us all to devour. The album is a pestilential treat of satanic death metal with a melodic veining and raw surface which simply fires up the imagination. The band has been called Mexico’s best kept secret but with this second outing for their album you suspect their unwilling privacy will be no more.
Consisting of members of Necroccultus, Sargatanas, Ominous Crucifix, Supplicium, and Leper Messiah in its line-up, the 2009 formed V.R.P.I. has forged an intensive and impressive reputation in their homeland’s extreme metal depths moving further afield. Their debut album has been the main cause of that, its ravenous spreading of the band’s contagiously vindictive sound insatiable and sure to incite a wider hungry spotlight this time around.
The album comes in nine chapters starting with the sinister Serpents Council. From its opening desperate and haunting air the track swiftly expels a controlled rabidity of riffs and rhythms bound in a sonic web of intrigue and enterprise. It is a caustic proposition especially with the raw throaty vocal squall of Rubens Nergal, but it spears that with a virulently enticing swinging groove which attaches to the stride of the song and the intimidating guitar designs forged by Ignis Deo, Edgar Ramirez, and Jesus Inukai. It is a short and potent provocation to get album and thoughts prepared for the creative torment ahead, which soon descends on the senses through Ceremony Of The Impure. The antagonistic rhythms of drummer Daniel Sanchez instantly cast an intimidating frame coloured further by the heavy lilted tones of bass from Angs Balandran. It is an intensive barracking but one tempered by the rich evocative hues of melody clad guitar and vocal chant in the background. The track does not ignite thoughts and passions as strikingly as expected and hinted at by the previous track but still has them simmering contentedly with a keen appetite.
That hunger is soon fed a tasty voracity through Towards Battlefields, its predatory breath and stalking gait flavoured with a compelling bass sound amidst another acidic weave of riffs and sonic confrontation equipped with turbulent enterprise and a rigorously captivating groove. The track is a formidable and threatening slab of addictive hostility, death metal at its feverishly creative and intensive best matched by the very brief Ravenous Apocalyptic Raids. The track is a swift scourge of malevolence and destructive enterprise which impressively leads straight into the just as nasty and riveting Purification By The Sword. A rancorous fury of crippling rhythms and scarring riffs blaze across the senses immediately, the latter’s alignment with a scorching sonic whining irresistible. The track proceeds to lurch and twist with bestial predation and intensive urgency before settling into a more controlled but no less insistent stalking with abrasing vocals and melodic toxicity nestling menacingly over the continuing rhythmic provocation. The best track on the album it is a monstrous infesting of ears and passions, alone a reason to take V.R.P.I. eagerly to your vulnerable breast.
Its might is matched by the rising from dark depths of Leviathans Coronation. Like an awakening subterranean beast, the track flexes its rabid muscles into a destructive air as bass and drums build a tumultuous cage of lethal rhythmic violence. Its sinews continue to ripple as riffs surge purposefully alongside a sonically fuelled melodic emprise which begins to paint the track’s demonic canvas. The track continues to test and challenge, frequently shifting its gears in gait and violating ears in dark intrigue and enthralling sound. It is a real brute of a song but one wrapped in an ingenious beauty and invention which is death metal as organic as it is singularly inventive.
Both Nine Kingdoms and Hunting And Sacrifice keep the grip of the album tight even if certainly the first of the two with its varying degrees of persuasion slips in stature to those before it. With a driving nagging groove and rhythmic unpredictability the track still leaves satisfaction high before its successor unleashes its hellacious and malignant fury upon the senses. Strange to say for a track intent on corruption and viciously imposing enmity there is an elegance to the song which seduces as its tears thoughts and emotions to their bare bones. It is an impossibly magnetic onslaught which makes way for the savage Necropolis Rising, a track unleashing all its lures and spite upon the ears in again absorbing and emotionally jaundiced manner. The further into its maelstrom it goes the more infectious and addictive it becomes, preying on the passions with skilled enterprise from each of the Irapuato sextet and a combined imagination.
The album is completed by tracks from the first demo of V.R.P.I.; the raw trio of Serpents Council, Ceremony Of The Impure, and Towards Battlefields more than decent inclusions which show the seeds from which the excellence of the album has emerged. For death metal in its best creative throes of adventure, ingenuity, and sheer malevolence, Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferi, band and album, is a no brainer recommendation, especially if the likes of Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Vital Remains appeal.
Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferi is available via Memento Mori now @ http://memento-mori.es/
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