Via Dolorosa is the second album coming from this British, black metal band. It’s a short album but that comes with well-written and beautiful crafts songs. “Via Dolorosa” means a path taken to cleanse your sins, a weird name for a black metal band but they seem to try to hit in the hypocrisy of Christians that have persecuted people for little things like skin color. The sound is terrifying and can leave a sensitive listener with the unnerving feeling of anxiety. Makes you relive any sort of wrongdoing you ever had to endure in your life time.
- Hallowed Terror
- Via Dolorosa
- Salvifici Doloris
The first song “Hallowed Terror” starts with an atmospheric vibe and then descends into what we could call black metal traits with fast tempos, and hash vocals. The song stands out with the rhythmic guitar riffs that seems to be in a constant battle for the spot light with the hash, powerful vocals. The vocals are disturbing and only cross path with the guitar solos at the end of the song, almost presenting a painful and endless torture. The overall sound of the album and especially in this song is very frightening. I should say I feel a bit a Mgla in this album. Especially “Malaise”, has the same repeating screams of agony as Exercises In Futility VI, only DEITUS is more oriented towards keeping a classical vibe of black metal, and made the song a lot more stronger. “Malaise” is the shortest song of the album, but keeps a depressing and sad sound from the beginning to the end. For me it has the biggest impact, maybe because it follows “Hallowed Terror” which is softer. The song has 2 parts, being separated almost at the middle by a soft guitar solo, a death metal more specific solo. “Via Dolorosa” is just as the name suggests a path to cleanse your soul, starts in a totally not black metal way (for a moment I had to check to see if the album was not interrupted by an add or something) The song starts with an already used guitar solo, only to go in a crazy guitar battle of madness, I have no idea what genre this song is. After, the guitarist has killed any certitude that this is a black metal album the song changes back to fast tempos and hash vocals that every black metal fan adores. The crazy part of this song is when the guitar returns and fusions itself majestic with the vocals and fast tempos. “Salvifici Doloris”- translated into the saving power of suffering, is, and I find it hard to describe it, the sound you will hear in a horror movie when you are doomed and you just lay there waiting to die. I will stop trying to narrate the beauty of this song, I am just going to post some lyrics:
“And the foreboding silence shatters
As the veil of all illusions burn
Estranged and in sinful veneration
The rupture of life, the call of perdition”
“Atonement” is the ending piece and starts with a soft disaccorded guitar screams, followed by beautiful drumming, the synchronized 2 elements are joined by the vocals that are higher in volume that the rest of the instruments. This song is harmony at it best. It’s the ending, but not only of the album but the ending of the suffering. It sounds like the last flashback to all you have suffered. It ends so suddenly that you have no idea if you have been cleansed or you are left to wonder the world still suffocating on your own sins.
This band with only 2 albums has created a new style of music. They play too well with music genres while still maintaining a clear black metal base. Really looking forward to seeing what elements they can incorporate in future albums, but in the same time I am not sick of this album yet. I do think that “Via Dolorosa” is going to be loved for years to come, has the strong nature that makes it into a long lasting masterpiece.