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Abyssal. Murky. Cavernous. Enveloping. Crushing.

...and I’m bored. I get it, the mix has lots of reverb and the band sounds like they’re trapped at the bottom of a well, or inside a giant pit or some shit. Care to point me to the riffs?

Oh, there they are. VRTRA, a Bay Area black metal outfit by way of Sacramento, went and hoarded them. This band subverts the tropes associated with far too many bands in their genre, letting their guitars scream through the speakers and the bass openly throb with a distorted pulse. What they aurally achieve on their first record My Bones Hold A Stillness isn’t mere bigness, but depth. On “Perpetually Hag Ridden,” the first track on this release, stacks of operatic clean vocals signal the coming of the end-times before molten riffs (yes, actual riffs) slap you silly. VRTRA don’t hide inside the cave; they drag you into their hall of multi-dimensional madness, where sliding leads ala Inquisition worm around pedal-to-the-floor blasts and a quiet break slowly leads to a crashing end.

You can stream “Perpetually Hag Ridden” below. VRTRA’s debut album My Bones Hold A Stillness will be available on September 2nd via Sentient Ruin Laboratories. Follow them on Facebook and pre-order the release on Bandcamp.

—Avinash Mittur

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