Track By Tracks: Vakaren - Infernum (2022)

1. And After All Of This... We Come To Nothing...:

Vakaren has always had an opening track on every major release from the band. Originally, Infernum was not intended to have an opening "prologue" but after working with Dazathame on the following track, and hearing the ideas that he brought forth we thought that it would be a welcome addition to have an opening track that sort of played into the story of the following track while providing some atmosphere to fit the mood. These opening tracks are always the ones that seem to require the most creativity. If you listen closely you can hear both a shepard's tone created from the drone of an airplane cabin as well as a ship's fog horn.

2. Oh What Horrors Await Us All:

The first full track on the album ties directly into the opening "prologue". This track builds upon the groundwork laid by the previous track by implementing the same choir vocals into the chorus. The opening words of each Vakaren album, in my opinion, hold the most weight because they lay out the groundwork for the entire concept, the opening lyrics for this track being "Is there a point where there's no suffering, beyond those quick fleeting moments". This is also the first track to display any "contemporary" Black Metal instrumentation in it.

3. Antithesis:

This song opens with a barrage of drums followed by a guitar riff that interweaves itself between each strike on the drum heads. The pace of the album also picks up quite a bit with this track, focusing mostly on riffs that are filled with single notes. The lyrical concept for this track focuses on changes in character to meet the demand of their environment. The track is fairly frantic in its pacing, representative of the sort of anxiety someone would feel at a point in their life where immediate and drastic change is necessary.

4. Abandoned Seed Of Light:

Abandoned Seed Of Light picks up directly where Antithesis left off with no drop in momentum. The guitar riffs focus more on longer riffs that are built up by chords instead of single notes for more epic feeling moments of chaos. The lyrical concepts for this track pick up where Antithesis left off. The lyrics describe growth through the abandonment of old ideals that have held you back and the pain that comes along with it.

5. Apollyon, Ascendant:

Again, no lapse in intensity can be found with this track. This time the track leans closer towards Death Metal styles in the beginning and expands further into epic Black Metal riffs that are complemented perfectly by Dazathame's vocals. The lyrics for this track focus heavily on the human perpetuity of violence and how they affect progress and growth. Apollyon is a fairly short track that will pass you by quickly and may require one or two listens to fully digest.

6. The Antediluvian Reign:

This track is fairly unique amongst its peers on this album. The track opens with distant wretches that help build a haunting atmosphere for this track. Heavily inspired by Funeral Doom and Black Metal alike, Antediluvian is a slow build. This track is also the only track on the album to feature an 8-string guitar, of course, this instrument was chosen because the song called for it. This, in my opinion, is the way that an instrument of this sort should be utilized in the style of Black Metal that Vakaren produces.

7. Venomous Womb:

A transitional track that opens the B side of Infernum. Venomous Womb features the return of guest guitarist K.E. who adds his own ideas into the mix helping create a bleak and desolate atmosphere alongside the droning synths and choirs. This is another track that took quite a bit of time to materialize due to the number of sounds that are so densely packed into it.

8. Specters Of The Astral Plane:

Kicking off the second half of the album, Specters provides an all-out assault on all levels. The drums open the track with some vicious fills. The guitar riffs that start this track are almost bouncy in nature but quickly evolve into a melodic Black Metal style that longtime listeners may remember from previous albums. The vocal performance from Dazathame is downright aggressive on this one. His snarls eat through the mix and call for all of the attention. The lyrical themes for this track revolve mostly around grief and trying to process and philosophize mortality. This is a highly recommended track for new listeners.

9. Plague Of Idols:

This is a track that fans of older Vakaren material may enjoy. The track is heavily soaked in reverb and features some of the catchiest chorus melodies from Dazathame compared to the rest of the songs on the album. Plague Of Idols is not quite as fast as previous tracks, instead, it focuses on melodies and atmosphere.

10. The Personification Of Time & Dust:

Originally released on a compilation by Witch Cult Records, this is the first song that was recorded for the album. The track opens with your signature Vakaren riffs, soaked in reverb. The previous track used quite a bit of reverb in it but this is probably the most atmospheric and contemporary Black Metal song on the album. The track revolves mostly around one riff that resurfaces a few times throughout the song. Lyrically this song focuses on forced reincarnation and whether it is something to be welcomed or feared by sentient beings.

11. Magna Ars Mortis:

"A Grand Artwork Of Death", the final track on the standard version of Infernum. Magna Ars Mortis is another fast-paced track with a heavy focus on the rhythmic side of the composition. The guitar work was heavily inspired by the older styles of Black Metal, another song that longtime listeners of Vakaren may enjoy. Dazathame has some really interesting effects going on with his vocals on this track, including a tremolo effect at several points in the song. A fitting end to Infernum, this song ends with a straightforward Black Metal riff built up by blast beats.

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