Reviewed: June 2022
Released: 2022, Iron Bonehead Productions
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
The USBM scene has had something of a renaissance in the last decade, having fallen into the doldrums throughout the noughties until groups like Wolves in the Throne Room and Lamp of Murmuur pumped some new blood into it lately. Following said bands into said renaissance are a duo from Los Angeles: Vaamatar and their astonishing debut, Medievalgeist.
If I were to describe this album in one word, it would be a ‘masterpiece’. Whether you’re someone who loves the old school or the new, Vaamatar has managed to combine both in a manner that doesn’t make the album lose its dignity or sell value.
The first half of the album is from the new school with a decent blend of trance-inducing drones and then we have side two that’s filled with raw atmospherics that will have anyone who digs Murmuur or Old Nick smiling.
What we have here is a band with much staying power who have used their versatile musicianship and wide knowledge of black metal history to explode onto the scene with one hell of a debut. Vocals are screamed and beautifully indecipherable and blast beats are aplenty for the drummers listening in.
I think the best selling point about this album is its different sounds on both sides of the vinyl (if it is released on that format), so this is a band whom I can see being enjoyed across the many echelons of the black metal world, giving them the potential to have a devoted following across the globe.
Great job, Vaamatar. I expect to hear much more from you very soon.