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Vimur Damns Us All to “Nuclear Desecration”


Vimur’s new album Triumphant Master of Fates skews toward the melodic and cinematically anthemic end of black metal. This is not to say, of course, that it is devoid of heaviness or those crusty, strange curlicues and blast beats we look for in a black metal record. It’s more that Vimur’s attentiveness to groups like Immortal and the great masters Bathory is keen, and they are aware that what makes a transcendent black metal record is often less the extremity but the skeleton of the song the parts are grafted to. In that spirit, Vimur have written Triumphant Master of Fates to play out like a fine-prose gothic history novel about Conan the Barbarian and the Satanic violences of Cimmeria, where songs feel like movements within a greater tapestry. It’s not a new trick, not by a long shot, but as a framing device for individual songs and a way to make each feel keenly situated, it’s a well-used one.

The task of debuting “Nuclear Desecration” (above), the fifth track of seven on the record, is a strange one. The selection of this song is clear: compared to the others, “Nuclear Desecration” is the most straightforward and aggressive, representing a climax of sorts within the context of the album as a whole. The tracks before it err on the side of developmental approaches, using melodic motifs and mid-tempo traditional heavy metal sonic ideas played in a black metal idiom to develop the vast and pastoral but still crooked, cruel, and cold domains the record seems to be focused on. Then, the track that immediately follows “Nuclear Desecration” falls to a doomy crawl, slow and brooding, which is fitting given that it structurally leads into the ten-minute epic which serves as the album closer.

This leaves “Nuclear Desecration” at the rough two-thirds mark for album, a magical place for album structures, to be a ferocious blast. The opening moments are a regal, harmonized guitar setting stately form before a high-tempo blast beat section replete with diminished chords and minor thirds (all of those delicious black metal tropes) comes to bear. The remainder of Triumphant Master of Fates is where Vimur demonstrates a keen sense of pacing and the progressive, programmatic mindfulness black metal (and extreme metal at large) has prided itself on; on “Nuclear Desecration,” it is about black metal. But the song is not without its tricks: the instrumental bridge cuts the tempo in half, resolving to a stately trot, and Dissection-esque post-Maiden melodic black metal guitar lines close out the track to feed back once more into the cinematic whole they created.

Triumphant Master of Fates releases on March 1 via Boris Records. The band will perform an album release show on March 2 in Atlanta (see poster below).


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