Vocals – Zach Thomsen
Guitar – Yianni Papaeracleous
Guitar – Brad Weddle
Drums – Zak Kempler
Bass – Alec Klimm
1. Disciples of Shakhbûrz
2. Plagued Eyes from the Scrolls of Xafmirtas
3. Ophite Cultus Satanas
4. Encrimsoned Baptism
6. Dark Harvest
Hailing from the unexpected reaches of White Marsh, Maryland, a place that you could be forgiven for assuming was twinned with some district in prime Swedish Black metal country, Vermörd are not a band that sit neatly within the confines of preconceptions of how an American metal band should sound. Their debut EP ‘Dawn of the Black Harvest’, released on Grimoire Records, is an outburst of their own violent brand of music that seeks to find harmony between two distinctive forms of extreme metal.
Strutting the line perfectly between both genres Vermörd are a band that borrow influence heavily from the likes of black metal acts such as Emperor and technical death metal acts in a similar vein to Decapitated. Like an ode to late 90’s era Marduk, these are certainly a band that appear to wear their ferocity like a suit of armour.
While not without variation, the flavour put forward is built upon quite a simplistic percussive base (considering the technicality draped over it), but is still pummelling in nature. The drums in essence herald the violence of a storm within a cloud of complexity surrounding it. The twin guitars are what offer the real vibrance, and with good effect as one brings a consistent harmonised tremolo while the other frequently changes its scale and tempo, shaping the intricacy of the foreboding atmosphere that’s been created. While the vocal range of Zach Thomson might be restricted to two definitive modes of disdain (that being either growl mode or shriek mode), his abilities are well suited to their surroundings and are capable of being morbidly reminiscent of Opeth, as is the case in the brilliantly titled ‘Plagued Eyes from the Scrolls of Xafmirtas’. The bass is given little presence within the mix, as is usually the case, but the churning bass line that peaks its head above the precipice in ‘Dark Harvest’ demonstrates a welcomed variation that the band are clearly capable of.
The running length of this debut offering might be a short one, but it’s one that provides a more or less definitive comprehension of the direction this band are headed. These guys are still young and clearly have plenty in the way of potential. The band have slipped welcomely into the vein of an trend and have produced a high quality record that is bound to demand attention.