BVDK – Architecture Of Future Tribes

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Self released
Distributor/label URL: N/A
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://breevandekamp.bandcamp.com/album/architecture-of-future-tribes
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/BVDKvit/

Band line-up:

A-152 – Guitars
Lvx – Vocals, electronics
Scree – Guitars

Tracklisting: 

1. Snatcher
2. Surreptitious Cluster
3. Nana Buluku
4. La Langue Sanglante
5. Bahir Dar
6. Jericho’s Pride
7. Dar Es Salaam
8. Psalm 32

Review:

BVDK’s first full length album, Architecture of Future Tribes, combines black metal with electronic beats and psychedelic keyboards. It’s influenced by the otherworldly Dead Can Dance, the. completely different Afrobeat artist, Femi Kuti, and the more expected brutalness of Deafheaven. It was recorded by Benjamin Marchal, a man who has worked with a number of French metal bands, including Deluge, Night and D.C.A. AoFT’s lyrics are sung in French, and are based on African and Haitian voodoo cults.

This is largely rather typical black metal, emotionally speaking. The overall mood of it, is that classic sense of despair mixed with a twisted kind of wonder. That is perfectly fine, but it eventually gets tired, as there is isn’t too much variety to be found in the album, vibe-wise. There are a range of different tempos and timbres, though. The drumming in AoFT, is perhaps the thing that sets this band apart from Mayhem and the like, the most. However, arguably not in a good way. As the percussion is so obviously programmed, perhaps it would have been a better idea to use more electronic sounding drums. The loops here just sound like standard metal ones, but fake and cheap. Maybe that would have worked if the production on the whole was rawer, but it’s reasonably polished. The percussion doesn’t really fit with the rest of the band, because of this.

In their defence, however, and almost unusually, BVCK are people who can write a decent bass line. That instrument is often neglected in the composition process. In particular, track seven of the album, ‘Dar Es Salaam’ has some genuinely beautiful, low end moments. (When they take a break from the madness, that is). They are varied and complex, and they work with the serene guitars and creepy vocals on top of them, to create true, artful music. This kind of creativity is found throughout the album, but it’s not so common that it becomes overdone. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rare appearances of the ethnic instruments. They work really well when they are used, but as they are one of the main things that makes BVDK unique, their rarity is disappointing. The fitting and innovative African chanting and singing are more common, and child choirs are added to the soundscape too. However, again, the band have missed an opportunity to exaggerate these sources of inspiration and create a truly distinctive style.

In conclusion, this is reasonably good black metal that is well written. Sadly, though, it could have so easily been improved. BVDK have done the hard part and come up with their own unique selling point, why they chose to stick more with their cliched tremolo picked strings, blast beats and screams is a mystery. These musical devices are so common, in fact, that they make their performers seem like ‘just another BM band’. Even so, this is worth adding to your extreme metal collection, as it does have its charms.

Review by Simon the Mighty
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