Thursday 16 May 2019

Vile Apparition - Depravity Ordained + Atrocious Captivity Demo

Labels: Blood Harvest Records/Memento Mori Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 21 Jan 2019


1. Mauled And Nameless
2. Depravity Ordained
3. Dissect To Enucleate
4. Aeon Of Impalement
5. The Cursed Path
6. Malevolent Aphanatasia
7. Repulsive Desire
8. The Gate
9. Window Of The Grotesque

Such is the pace of releases this year, it's proving hard to catch up. So much so that I'm still working my way through stuff that came out in January (amongst my seemingly random review schedule). "Depravity Ordained" is the debut album from Australian death metal quartet Vile Apparition. It was released in January via Blood Harvest Records (vinyl, tape, digital) and Memento Mori Records (CD). Vile Apparition initially formed as a duo in 2017 and self-released the "Atrocious Captivity" demo, which also received a tape release via Transylvanian Tapes. Their line-up later doubled in size in time for a split cd release with Polish death metal duo Incinerator via Polish Putrid Cult. This piece will also feature a review of the "Atrocious Captivity" demo as it was included in the digital press pack I received.

Vile Apparition’s death metal is slamming, fast and disgusting. Mauled And Nameless is a blasting and grim old-school worshipping beast with deep growls. The riffs sit deeper in the mix as the drumming takes a tighter grip; however, there’s room in the recording for a ripping solo. This was pure and unadulterated brutal death metal without the pig squeals. The title-track is meaty with a wall of guitar-riffs beefing up the sound. Its formula is obvious fairly early on yet there’s technicality seeping from its pores. When Vile Apparition dials back the tempo, like in the latter half of Depravity Ordained, they venture into doom/death territory and its actually kinda nice (in a grim way). 

To deliver such ferocity and intensity so early on shows the intent that Vile Apparition has and Dissect To Enucleate is no exception. It all adds to an urgency that’s unmatched and with a production/mastering job that keeps everything true to the genres early proponents, everything is kept from being raw and muddy. They hit peak death metal on Aeon Of Impalement, with its slow and brooding doom/death feel and another ripping solo. There’s still plenty of fast but it seems more focused to me. A the mid-point of the album there’s a hauntingly ambient instrumental song in the form The Cursed Path, which breaks up the brutality  and fills you with an unnerving feeling.

After that instrumental, things get back to full speed on Malevolent Aphanatasia, which encompasses pretty much everything that makes Vile Apparition’s music so good. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before if you’re a death metal fan but as far as debuts go, it’s right up there. The final trio of songs beginning with Repulsive Desire are absolutely raging. Repulsive Desire itself is full of constant Tom abuse and vocals that scream “how low can you go”. The lack of time to catch your breath between it and The Gate proves that Vile Apparition mean business and take their death metal more than seriously. It’s much of the same but The Gate just stabilises the quality of the album.

Despite what I said above, the album’s final track Window Of The Grotesque is brimming with atmosphere within its opening bars. That atmosphere is retained as Vile Apparition stomps through one last doom/death filled number. It rounds out an album filled with disturbing bleakness and genuinely heavy death metal. There will be a lot of keen listeners in the underground who have already discovered “Depravity Ordained” but if you haven’t yet, you should change that.

Stream "Depravity Ordained" and grab it digitally and on LP/CD from Vile Apparition below:-

Tape copies are now sold out via Vile Apparition, but you can get the album on all physical formats from Blood Harvest Records and Memento Mori Records.

Labels: Self-Released/Transylvanian Tapes
Formats: Digital/Tape
Release Date: 31 Jul 2017


1. The Abyssal Plain
2. Anatomized Remnants
3. Atrocious Captivity
4. Featureless Deity

As mentioned above, Vile Apparition's 2017 demo "Atrocious Captivity" was bundled in with the promo I received, so I've decided to write a separate review of it and include it here. It's often fun starting with a band's most recent release and working backwards. This demo was written and recorded back when the band was a duo, so it'll be interesting to hear how their sound progressed to what it is now. As far as I can tell from scanning various places, tape versions of this are long sold out from both Vile Apparition and Transylvanian Tapes.

“Atrocious Captivity” begins with The Abyssal Plain, which is a ghostly and pretty terrifying intro that leads directly into Anatomized Remnants. Obviously here the sound is slightly raw but that actually works better for the music in my opinion. I know it’s boring when people continually say “I like their demo best”, but it’s mostly correct in this case. The recording seems to be less constrained than that of “Depravity Ordained” and while the ever-so-slightly cleaner sound of the latter makes sense, this demo just sounds more brutal to my ears.

The demo’s title-track is as barbaric as you’d expect and it’s far from accessible (not that any of Vile Apparition’s material could be considered accessible). You can certainly see where they got their writing chops from here and it was obvious even from this demo that their technicality was something else. In fact a lot of what appears musically on “Depravity Ordained” owes much to this demo and the doom/death that’s present there first rears its ugly head on Featureless Deity. It’s not slow by any means but the influence and atmosphere is clearly present throughout.

Overall, having listened to both releases, there’s no negatives here. If you’re new to the band, start with “Depravity Ordained” and work your way backwards. Vile Apparition will no doubt be a band that will continually improve and tweak their sound as they progress through their career. Quality death metal from the other side of the globe.

(Alternative Transylvanian Tapes Cover Art)

You can grab "Atrocious Captivity" as a name-your-price download below:-

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