Vonlaus - Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana review


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Band: Vonlaus
Album: Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana
Release date: September 2020

01. Gjaldþrot
02. Gegn Mér
03. Af Ólyfjan Og Drykkju
04. Týndur Í Reykjavík

Mystískaos, that shadowy black metal label/collective of American and Icelandic origin, dumped three new releases on us last Wednesday. Let's dive into them, shall we?

When considering Mystískaos as a whole, Vonlaus definitely come off as one of the less interesting bands within the collective. But, considering they're up against the likes of Skáphe, Wormlust, and Délirant, this may not really be saying much. This Icelandic 5 piece already dropped a self titled demo EP in 2018, featuring a riff heavy, midtempo take on black metal propelled by a highly rhythmic energy and the dynamic vocals of frontman PRJ. 2020's follow up EP, Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana, isn't overly different sound wise from its predecessor. If anything, minor changes can be detected in the production, which sounds a bit rawer, and the vocals, which are no longer confined to mere shrieks and at times take on more of a howling type approach.

One interesting element on Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana, which I'm fairly certain wasn't present on Vonlaus's demo, is a nice little guitar solo (or something close to one) toward the end of "Gegn Mér." This gives the EP a bit of a First Wave black metal touch, giving it a distinctly retro aesthetic while still being unquestionably modern. It's a bit of a shame though this is the only track to feature such soloing, as Vonlaus's music would probably benefit considerably from expanding on this idea further. After all, there are few black metal bands out there nowadays that still feature guitar solos in their compositions, so fleshing out this element of their songwriting more in full could very well serve to give Vonlaus a more distinctive edge over a lot of their contemporaries.

Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana is a good, EP for what it is, but ultimately gets a tad boring after a while due to the fact that Vonlaus somewhat feel like a one trick pony with their sound and rather confined to this riffy, midtempo black metal approach with nowhere else to go from there. A large part of this underwhelming feeling may be, as I mentioned previously, simply attributed to the fact that a lot of their other brethren in Mystískaos sound so much more impressive and dynamic by comparison. But if anything, the inclusion of Vonlaus in the collective proves that Mystískaos is not just about transdimensional psychedelic black metal anymore, and can mix things up with some bands that offer a more simplistic, stripped down approach as well. If not the most interesting thing to come out of Mystískaos, Röð Slæmra Ákvarðana is still an enjoyable listen, and one that does make me curious for what may eventually come of a full length Vonlaus debut in the near future.

I wage war upon the angels of this universe.

Onward to Serpent Column!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Written on 06.10.2020 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 23 users
06.10.2020 - 18:36
A pretty good release, but def overshadowed by what else got released that day
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
06.10.2020 - 18:37
Written by RaduP on 06.10.2020 at 18:36

A pretty good release, but def overshadowed by what else got released that day

Yeah like I said, the problem with Vonlaus isn't so much that they're a bad band, but just that a lot of the others in Mystískaos make them look so weak in comparison.
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.

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