Mesmeric sounds, chants and rituals falling fearlessly into angular, rhythmically pulsing Black Metal. Subdued melancholy ambience crafted with finesse and attention to detail. Chants, howls and moments of ritual expand. Hypnotised as your expectation is constantly baffled and confused. This is ‘Hooves, Leaves & The Death’. A twenty minute voyage through whiskey fueled ambience, atavistic visions and romantic escapades with the occult.
Hailing from the North of Italy, Vowels set out to conjure ‘wild, atavic and primordial visions of ancient pan-european myth’ and deliver ‘two tracks of crepuscular atmospheres’ in the form of their latest EP, ‘Hooves, Leaves & The Death’. A welcome exploration of central Europe’s rich history – avoiding the obvious clichés of Scandinavia. ‘Hooves, Leaves & The Death’ is a warming listen that always borders on euphoria. Violins ebb and flow among the throng. Pulsing channels of subconscious ritual are always building and breaking.
This multi-textured, genre engulfing oracle of an EP reminds me at times of Locrian and Horseback, at others of Thy Repentance and Urfaust. Everything about Vowels succeeds in affecting the listener. The instrumentation during the ambient sections is pristine, intriguing and beguiling to experience. When the EP moves deeper into the territories of extreme metal, the bands strength resides in their veering, altering sense of direction. Expectations are constantly thrown out of the window, giving refrain and release more chance to seep under your skin.
The latest EP, ‘Hooves, Leaves & The Death’ is available directly from the band. They are currently looking for a label and are in the process of recording three new vespers.