Feast on the most ambitious, detailed and thrilling album by one of the driving forces of the extreme music scene in the Mother Continent.
Formed in 2009 in the city of Kampala, Uganda, molded and shaped in Kenya, and drawing from traditional and extreme doom sources such as Black Sabbath, My Dying Bride, Katatonia and Type O Negative, to name a few, the unrelenting Doom Metal entity Vale Of Amonition, whose name by the way refers to a place, a “sanctuary for warmakers” of sorts, with most of the lyricism being centered around happenings in that place, has just released their third full-length opus, entitled Immortalizing the Lugubrious, or Those Of Evolving Despair, the follow-up to their 2017 album Those of Tartarean Ancestry and their 2019 EP Ancient, Evil & African. Recorded and engineered by Nick Wathi at Andromeda Music, mixed and mastered by Luc Chiasson, and displaying a cryptic artwork by Ben Dickey, the new album rounds out the band’s ambitions thus far and provides us all with their most complete record yet, showcasing the undeniable talent and passion for heavy music by Victor Rosewrath on vocals and guitars, Solomon Dust also on the guitars, Mordecai O. Ogayo on bass, and Jude Bulinda on drums.
In the imposing opener Where They Gathered And Suffered, the band brings forward elements found in the crushing Doom Metal blasted by renowned acts the likes of Black Sabbath and Celtic Frost while Jude darkly smashes his drums accompanied by the Stygian riffs by Victor and Solomon; whereas their incendiary riffs keep penetrating deep inside our minds in Sons Of The Moribund, with Victor declaiming the song’s lyrics with tons of passion in this Progressive Doom Metal aria. My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind is a beautiful song crafted by the quartet both musically and lyrically, with the sluggish, doomed beats by Jude and the rumbling bass by Mordecai adding an extra touch of obscurity to the overall result, and in Drink The Poetry Of The African Wretch we’re treated to the guest vocals by Nelecc (of Euphoric Decay, Nelecc, Krummholz and Void of Sorrow), bringing even more rage and anger to the music while Victor, Solomon and Mordecai offer our ears a thrilling stringed attack. Terminus is another dark and pensive tune by the band that reminds me of the Doom Metal played by My Dying Bride with Progressive Metal nuances, with Victor sounding utterly somber on vocals accompanied by the sinister, slow drums by Jude. Finally, closing the album we face eight minutes of first-class African metal titled At Evolution’s End, with the quartet blasting their visceral sound mercilessly spearheaded by another poetic vocal performance by Victor. Needless to say, there isn’t a single second left empty in this ode to darkness and doom.
The fantastic Immortalizing the Lugubrious, or Those Of Evolving Despair, which is by the way available in full on YouTube, is one of those must-have albums for anyone who’s a diehard fan of doom or African metal, or both, and if you consider yourself one of those fans you can purchase the album from the band’s own BandCamp page. Don’t forget to also follow Vale Of Amonition on Facebook for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music. Always forward-thinking and progressively inclined, Vale of Amonition have shifted into utterly bleak territory that is gloriously underscored with tribal menace since their inception, with their new album representing the coronation of this African quartet as one of the driving forces of the current metal scene in the Mother Continent.
Best moments of the album: My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind and Drink The Poetry Of The African Wretch.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2023 Independent
1. Where They Gathered And Suffered 9:16
2. Sons Of The Moribund 6:09
3. My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind 7:35
4. Drink The Poetry Of The African Wretch 6:09
5. Terminus 6:58
6. At Evolution’s End 8:04
Victor Rosewrath – vocals, guitars
Solomon Dust – guitar
Mordecai O. Ogayo – bass
Jude Bulinda – drums
Nelecc – vocals on “Drink The Poetry Of The African Wretch”, guitar solo on “Sons Of The Moribund”