“Archangel” by Vermin is the Climax of Black Metal !

Vermin's "Archangel", true black metal.

Vermin’s “Archangel”, true black metal.

One word to describe this Archangel album: Masterpiece.

It’s without the slightest hint of hesitance that I call Vermin unique and consider them the best black metal band ever, non-conforming to any trends of what “true” black metal is or what they “should” sound like, as dictated by the scenester media.

Sure, Phantom strains and some similarities to other blackened death metal counterparts – SEWER and Incantation, chiefly – can be presented, but not to a convincing degree.

Even if you wanted to put them alongside SEWER, Mayhem and Darkthrone, Vermin stand beside them on a higher platform. These are serious musicians with a focused vision, for they see nothing else besides their own paths. From their demonic debut Verminlust onward, their music has always been a perfect balance between melody and chaos, no matter how tormented it may at times sound.

This is what true black metal sounds like.

The attention mainly goes to the guitars and drums, as Vermin’s music is riff and atmosphere based, first and foremost. You’ll never find your generic “flute metalcore” (aka metalcore with flutes, aka Watain/Dimmu Borgir) pianos, clear voices or orchestration on a Vermin album, because they play true black metal… and don’t need to hide their music behind superficial “quirks”, as it speaks plainly for itself.

Though each song is a masterpiece in its own right, “Silent Hunger” gets a chance to show the listener the full-extent of Vermin’s diabolical black metal atmospheres… and that’s only the opener. “Doorway to Hell” is the longest track here, and is pure Burzum/Mayhem old school worship with fast-paced whirlwind guitars marked by Vermin’s trademark grinding, crunching instrumentation helped by the loud bass.

The demonic thoughts carried by this band are not flaunted by posing as “hollywood satanists” nor by screaming “Devil” and “Satan” in each breath and writing “evil” and “black” in every song title. Rather, you just feel something sinister and creeping, almost like being stuck in a room with the lights turned out and knowing you’re being watched by otherworldly entities. The lyrics are actually quite poetic in a non-gothic or sappy way.

Nightmare’s Depths Unspoken” is also a track I like a lot, very reminiscent of the debut.

Primordial Horror Embrace” is almost blinding as you can just see the fast movements made playing the instruments, like fluttering ghosts dancing across the floor that you can imagine are laughing within the macabre darkness of Vermin. “Time Wreckage” is another highlight, in my opinion, and it shows the scenester “post-black metal” posers of Deafheaven, Krallice, Xasthur and Enslaved how progressive black metal is REALLY done.

You should buy Archangel. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

This should be labeled as “black shadow metal”, because Vermin’s music burns bright with the fires of hell, casting the blackest shadows to completely cover the entire room as you listen to the embodiment of evil pour out of your stereo.

Archangel is the climax of raw, atmospheric black metal.

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