Vimur – Transcendental Violence Review

Back in 2019, I raved about Vimur’s sophomore album, Triumphant Master of Fates. It was a magnificent expulsion of incendiary black metal fueled by venom and vitriol. Three years later, the Atlanta quartet readies their next salvo, entitled Transcendental Violence. Lucifer only knows what the hell that means, but there’s no doubt that destruction awaits. Vimur carries over the bulk of their sound profile from 2019 into 2022, unleashing riff-focused black metal lacking entirely in froufrou, frills, or frivolity. Churning a hellish concoction of Ars Magna Umbrae’s blood-thickening dissonance and Mare Cognitum’s majesty, Transcendental Violence rages with the roiling atomic fusion of the Sun itself, devastating in its scorching tear across the universe. It’s killing time all day, every day; a sonic slaughter that fells bodies and evaporates souls without mercy. Riffs rip through the fabric of spacetime like it was wet tissue paper, the percussion matching their ferocity with blasts of unearthly thunder, and rough rasps strip all light from the eyes of all who would dare stare this cosmic beast in the face.

From the outset, Vimur demonstrates a knack for consistency in relation to past work, while concurrently circumventing the stigma of stagnation. As stated earlier, the group adopts much the same form held three years ago, but epic opener “Aeonic Upheaval” immediately evidences an impending shift towards denser, more alienating harshness. Those riffs which build structure around every moment contradict that very structure with decidedly unhinged personalities, supported in their chaotic endeavors by an equally unpredictable drum performance (“Infallible Contra Animus”). The title track exemplifies wild abandon, a complete meltdown of biblical proportions that burns brightly and quickly, further exposing Vimur’s deranged aggression.

Yet, Transcendental Violence offers a greater sense of triumph than Triumphant Master of Fates, odd as that may sound. Violence abounds, but the overall effect of Vimur’s songwriting is strangely uplifting. Part of that may be due to the tightened songwriting, which allows the most intense moments to hit hard and leave their victims bleeding helplessly on the ground (“Emanations from the Sun Behind”), instead of torturing listeners with extended volleys that only result in numbness and apathy. Another part of it surely originates from the more tender, relaxed “Death Absolution.” This track permits the wounded a brief respite to recoup and regroup, while the sound of obliteration rages on close behind and just ahead. It’s just enough rest to prepare for the final advance, “The Warrior Seers,” which leaves me with a sense of resolution and no loose ends. With it, the record feels complete.

My main concern is that, while Transcendental Violence offers the same vitality and wholeness that Vimur’s work always delivers, it isn’t a smooth ride. Transitions between riffs and songs appear abruptly and perhaps too chaotically (“The Greatest Dying”). While working hard to stay ahead of the pack—writing killer riffs and memorable leads, and performing every song to within an inch of life—Vimur may have malnourished the connective tissue that binds their latest album together. The tendons and ligaments supporting the most exciting segments and movements begin to tear under the pressure exerted by the album’s powerful musculature, revealing a critical weakness that, unless addressed in future works, spells Vimur’s ultimate collapse.

Many who enjoyed Triumphant Master of Fates will undoubtedly enjoy Transcendental Violence to an equal, if not greater, degree. It’s another ripper in a seemingly unending streak for Vimur, but even the greatest monuments crack with time. Thankfully, the cracks here—primarily affecting the fluidity of Transcendental Violence’s songwriting—pose no threat to the band’s success, provided a certain amount of attention and reinforcement going forward. In any event, Vimur’s third opus remains a vicious monster worthy of equal parts admiration and terror.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Boris Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: April 2nd, 2022

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