Having made their debut at the recent Primordial-curated Redemption Festival in their home city of Dublin, Vircolac are a quartet who believe in taking things back to the old school – to the extent that (at the time of writing) this four-track EP is only available on cassette.
The result is, perhaps not surprisingly, a typical old school slice of vitriolic, Gothic-inspired blackened DM – but, at the same time, one which is not afraid to take things further and integrate other styles – and one which cuts open old wounds and then re-opens them before they have had a chance to heal properly. Despite its length, the title track is more of an intro, yet creeps and crawls up on you with the malevolent menace of Jack Torrance stalking the corridors of the Overlook Hotel, before the epic first track proper, ‘Confessio’, slams through the door with even more ferocity than Johnny’s mayhem-fuelled axe; in turn, it twists back around onto the main theme of underlying darkened corruption with its beautifully understated instrumental final passage.
‘The Worm Turns’ takes a (just very!) gothic twist, with its dark, doomy bass intro and sub NuMetal spoken intro: it bubbles and broils before Laoghaire’s vocals slice through the underlying gloom with the precision of a butcher’s blade, dissecting and disembowelling the riff with darkened intent, ripping the heart and soul from the song and leaving it lying it on the floor like so much forsaken but beautifully tasty offal. ‘Effigy’, by contrast, is a typically classic DM offering, and features the most blastbeats offered so far on this all too short exemplar of a band who truly have the potential to stand among the great Irish exports of the coming generation…
‘Codex Perfida’ is a dark and mysterious album: one which works on a multitude of levels – some of which lesser bands would be afraid to explore, but which Vircolac approach equal amounts of bravado and bloodymindedness….
Codex Perfida / Confessio / The Worm Turns / Effigy
Recommended listening: The Worm Turns
‘Codex Perfida’ is out now via Iron Bonehead Productions