Вий – S/T

We were just totally in the mood for something terribly ugly today.  This one was actually discovered by accident, after checking out the Facebook page of SaturninE, who we reviewed only a few weeks ago.  Вий was an act playing with them in Italy for an underground doom gig that came up in the feed, and seeing the name made us pause.  Why?  For the simple fact that this reviewer actually knows what it is.  Вий was the name of a short story by Russian author Nikolai Gogol, which you can find online for free.  Pronounced in English essentially as 'Viy', the story functioned like a folktale, and eventually introduced a creature at the end, something like an evil gnome, called Viy, with eyelids that dragged on the ground and a face made out of iron.  It's one of his most well-known stories, and even has a few different film versions, including one quite recent.  There have been lots of theories about where Gogol got the idea, but it's known by scholars that Viy was never a character from Ukrainian or Russian folklore, as Gogol himself suggested (see the start of the actual story), but rather probably a variation of a devious saint in Eastern Europe known as St. Cassian the Unmerciful.  Anyway, you get it, and there's a chunk of history for you you'll forget in a few minutes that has nothing to actually do with reviewing this wonderfully ugly S/T hunk of cruelty.  Prepare your ears for complete ruin as we move on to business.

  

Вий is easily the most obscure band we've ever covered on here, it's a new record.  They're so unknown they have less than a hundred fans on Facebook, and probably most of them are actual friends from Italy, where they're from.  According to the band, and trust us this is impossible to find because we had to ask them personally, they formed only two years ago when three friends got together, seeking to, paraphrasing here, "express the existential distress we walk every day."  Well, and here it is, in the musical flesh.  This S/T first started out as a single track stretching over twenty minutes, but they recently added two six-minute cuts in addition to the original opener, and man, oh man, does this thing turn everything ugly.  Doom has some pretty standard forms by this point in the genre's history.  You expect some slowness, some throaty, death-rattle vocals, and corrupted riffs that move like a corpse.  But Вий, yeah, these guys are taking the slow, hateful pace of older stuff like Grief and somehow manage to extend it incredibly far without losing your attention in spite of your blood slowing to the point of clotting entirely, leaving your body stone-like and lifeless.  Prepare yourself for instant stroke with this one, friends.

 

Вий, as the horrid band they are, has done some amazing things here.  The opener, which reaches the limits with its sheer length, is essentially three parts with an overarching theme in sound; "Gelido Vuoto" (which translates as Cold Vacuum), "Вий", and "Krokodile".  This frozen, undead mammoth of the ancients is then followed by two more tracks, which tear equally asunder.  Typically, a band this new is fresh but nearly inedible, nowhere near ripe, but these guys, what in the hell were they doing before?  It's like they've come out of nowhere with a grind that sound's as finely-aged as stuff too popular for us to even consider for review and fans all over the world supporting their lifestyle.  Something like this coming out of the void so soon is impressive.  Вий carries itself with a generally slow, languid tempo, but at the same time delivers crushing walls of riff, and even when they carry a good crush for longer than most would be able, often reaching the point of annoyance, it manages to still carry your attention in spite of being continuous.  They occasionally have more simplistic riffs, but for the most part there's a ton of power to be found in this just-sprouted sapling.  It's one of the things that makes Bandcamp so awesome; it gives you the potential to find a diamond so perfect in its simplicity that it makes the more expensive selections around trite. Give these guys time and their roots will dig deep into the ground and push all of the corpses out of the earth and crack your the damn foundations of your house.  Really looking forward to what's coming, whatever it may be, as long as it isn't an end to their work.

 

Вий Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Вий – S/T
Self-Released
4.5 / 5