Released: 2013, MAA Productions (Zero Dimensional Records)
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
‘Cryo’ is the first full-length release in nearly four years, from the Rome based band ‘Vidharr’. I have to say, on first hearing this album, I felt pretty confused over its genre and wasn’t sure if I like it or not…it took me awhile to decide!
Within just the first track there is a mixture of rock and doom metal influences with death/doom style vocals, which at first I wasn’t sure was my cup of tea, although I was impressed with the musicianship, I don’t really review this type of genre and I wasn’t sure how I ended up with it, but then all of a sudden…there was a change! Despite being the same track, their sound changes, and goes into an acoustic style and the whole atmosphere changes before the black metal growls kick in & a big smile goes on my face! This is why I wanted to review this album!
The vocals go deeper and darker and slower, until afew minutes when the furiousness kicks in and this is Black Metal! Track one ‘Void’ is just over 8minutes long as already the band are showing so much diversity here, it’s hard not to be impressed, if not a little confused.
Track 3 ‘Cryo’ took the album to a totally different direction, which again just confused the hell out of me, with a female vocalist taking over, having a more mainstream feel, I felt I was listening to ‘Lacuna Coil’ until that ended after a short time followed by some strange talking, before kicking back into Black Metal again. My head is so confused at this point and I’m not even half way through the album yet.
Luckily the band, stayed consistent and stable in their black metal approach and there’s some great tracks in this album and I have to say I quite liked being confused like this and they certainly kept me on my toes!
Track 6 ‘Processed’ is another great track, using the same female vocalist and breaks the album up nicely, showing great diversity in their sounds.
Ending on Track 7 Blank (Eyehategod cover) ended the album in a totally different style and genre with more of a punk rock, metal feel to it, with some great riffs thrown in and a sludge doom metal sounds throughout, made me feel I was listening to a compilation album, with a mixture of different bands. I felt this is an album that needs to be reviewed track by track, cause of it’s different sounds!
Apparently the reason for their different and confusing approach and mixture of genres and sound is down to the following…. After forming back in 2004 by Mørke & Reim, Vidharr who first started the band, wanted it to be a doom metal project but it was due to their musical progression and influence, they soon turned to Black Metal.
In 2006, Vidharr seemed settled and performed at many gigs, sharing stages with bands such as Carpathian Forest, Forgotten Tomb, Nargaroth & Impaled Nazarene and in 2007 they continued performing and recorded 3 tracks for a split cd called ‘The Army of Chaos’ before entering the studio to release their first full-length album named ‘Eclipse’.
After a year or so member Reim, decided to quit the band to pursue other interests, so the band began their ongoing search for a new lead vocalist and a new rhythm guitarist, so Sho & Haemon joined the band.
Shortly after the band concentrated writing new material and performing at various festivals until in 2010 but due to individual musical progression and tastes, caused conflicts amongst the members and after a band fall-out Mørke & Andras remained in the band to pursue what they had set out to do since day one, and this is their results!
I have to say I am happy the band wanted a more severe sound in their approach, and finally after several member replacements the band have now reached a stable and more serious line-up, which resulted in them producing a more dynamic approach in their sound and songwriting, and they certainly have put all their influences together into this one album.
This is definitely one interesting album and it’s nice to be shocked and taken down different paths. I am pleased to say I did really enjoy this album and I hope the band are now settled and will continue to produce music and keep to the black/doom metal sounds!
If you’re looking for something slightly different, with a mixture of genres and some great tracks with elements of Rock, Heavy Metal, Black, Death and Sludge Doom metal then it’s all here and this is one album to check out!
Review by Jo Blackened