Originally written by Erik Thomas
It would be easy to say V:28 sound like Enslaved because of Grutle Kjellson’s guest appearance, but the truth of the matter is that V:28 do sound like Enslaved’s latter day work; if they took a bunch of acid, and built a giant rocket ship and went into the cosmos, red eyed and in a dream like coma, blasted of into the depths of the galaxy.
Spacey black metal is on tap here, but not full on futuristic whirring/beeping sample laden black metal like say Mork Gryning, And Oceans or Thyrane, but as stated in the opening paragraph; a deep, claustrophobic eerie take on progressive space themed black metal. I hate to repeat myself but Enslaved in space sums it up rather adequately.
Easy on the synth work, programmer/guitarist Kristoffer Oustad relies on strangely hypnotic riffs to carry the listener into the void, with the odd layering of subtle futuristic noise or sample for clever yet understated effect. The pace is normally slow, with the rare black metal blast beat, but the album mostly has drawn out, lengthy, dreamy riffs to convey its astral visage. And it does so very well. The vast emptiness of space and the deep unknowns of the galaxy are delivered perfectly and do indeed imbue the hopelessness of dead stars. To call this blackened cosmic doom, wouldn’t be a reach at all. To be truthful I haven’t heard anything quite like it, but those who have heard Source of Tide might get a similar insight.
Produced by LRZ from Red Harvest, the overall sound is suitably celestial, with an expected robotic mechanical pulse, especially when you consider the programmed drums. Tracks like “Dead Shining Star”, “Purity” (both featuring Kjellson), and “The Fall of Science” are robotic, chromatic orbs of continual sound. At its most effective though, the production on the sample laden (the movie escapes me) and vocal-less “Perspective”, one of the most mentally draining, yet absorbing and introspective six minutes I’ve been privy to in a while. Guitarist vocalist Eddie Risdel has a emotionless, monotone black metal scream, but it fits the music rather well, and is just another component of the machine. The album closer “Zero Nothing” is the only track that seems a little more focused on more speedy delivery in line with their cyber metal peers and doesn’t imbue the near emptiness of the album’s other tracks.
The whole overall feel of the album just created an image of space wreckage floating silently among asteroids and nebulas, and if I were the drug using sort, this would be the perfect album to go outside at night, lay and watch the stars with my favorite mind altering substance, as like me, you will no doubt drifting among the cosmic flotsam as V:28 suck you in to their infinite void.