“Tortured cries from the supernatural haunt the punishing mystical metal of Ukraine’s Vovkulaka. The band’s singer-drummer-songwriter VolK is a dark conduit for paranormal activity and channels his explorations in this realm into his band’s tribal and occultist thrashings.”
We have borrowed the opening paragraph to our introduction to Vovkulaka to bring ours to you as it provides an echo to the feel and breath which pervades the band’s striking sound. With their self-titled album infesting a world already devoured by darkness, we share big thanks to Rhonda at Whiplash PR for an invitation to explore a four track EP featuring the favourite tracks of the band’s fans. It reveals a sound which devours the senses and twists the psyche whilst unleashing catchiness as carnivorous as the multi-flavoured metal fuelling it.
The creation of vocalist/drummer/songwriter VolK, Vovkulaka (Ukrainian for werewolf) rose up in 2014. Primarily based in Odessa, the band also features members from Bulgaria and the United States, on stage the line-up completed by dancers and percussionists Naya G and JuleZ, and guitarist Ivan Manoloff. With his lyrical inspiration seeded in his passion for ghost hunting and paranormal experiences, VolK (itself Russian for werewolf) casts a sound bred from a voracious fusion of industrial and nu metal with goth and dubstep though that still does not quite reveal all of its rich tapestry. Listening to the quartet of songs making up this EP, thoughts of bands such as Fear Factory, Korn, Society 1, Type O Negative and Rob Zombie come to mind yet it is a rousing trespass which swiftly and firmly slams down its own individuality and unique character.
Darkness Calling is the first track to harass our ears, its opening enough to grip attention and appetite with its great Jonathan Davis and co like scenting, one continuing to permeate the track as it entangles VolKs throat rasping vocals with the similarly predacious sounds around them. Equally his rhythms stalk the listener and even as the song contorts and invades with greater imagination, its infectiousness is virulent just as that of Defy.
The second track to embroil our ears is a visceral grumble with a raptorial groove to match, one spiralling under the skin into the psyche in no time. Even with again instinctive contagiousness to voice and sound, there is a cadaverous sense and decay to its weight and touch which only accentuated the almost brutal temptation on offer.
The other pair of tracks only compounds the persuasion and striking presence of Vovkulaka, Purple Door a ravenous crawl through ears with a haunting melody and flesh-eating grooves which wind around ears until another feral infection loaded chorus not that the passage to it is anything less than viral. Its successor, My Devil coaxes with sinister melodic intimation before swinging its eagerly welcomed ruinous grooves and a body of sound which got into every pore, its electronics alone pure manipulation only accentuated by the voracious trespass of vocals, guitar and rhythms.
Though only a taster of Vovkulaka and that earlier mentioned album, we swiftly and hungrily only wanted to be swarmed by much more of the seriously rousing pestilence and there is every chance you will want to be too.
Pete RingMaster 12/02/2020
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