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Vofa : Vofa

As harsh and chill as an Icelandic dawn, secretive collective Vofa have produced an outstanding debut release

'Vofa' represents the debut release by the band of the same name. Interestingly, it is also a somewhat mysterious release, given that those, of unknown number, who contributed to the album have chosen not to reveal their identities. They are in fact a number of Icelandic musicians brought together from an impressively diverse range of underground genres, including black metal, death metal, punk, grindcore, hardcore, electronica, folk and doom.

Despite the diverse backgrounds of this secretive collective of the frozen north, they have come together very much in the spirit of melancholy Doom. The album is split into three tracks of approximately equal length, each being roughly twelve harrowing minutes long, and each more crushing that the last. In keeping with the theme of anonymity surrounding the album, and those that created it, the tracks are not individually named; rather they are numbered 'Vofa I', 'Vofa II' and so on. This works well, not just in the sense of adhering to Vofa's spirit of remaining faceless, but because this certainly comes into the category of an album that is best appreciated listened to in order, in its entirety.

The album begins in subdued and melancholy fashion, building an atmosphere of foreboding as the tension is ramped up and the pace increases. It takes four minutes of well-paced, often ethereal, build up before a vocal kicks in, but when it does it's a withering, brutal bellow into the very depths of the abyss. Distorted, droning riffs compliment the injection of rage, and another voice, also harsh and guttural, joins the melee as a brutal, lumbering riff takes the track to its doom-laden finish. 'Vofa II' follows seamlessly, with each track not feeling entirely distinct, but rather chapters in one melancholy tale of rage and depression. In many respects, in fact, it's a fitting soundtrack to these harrowing and unprecedented times of enforced solitude.

And 'Vofa III' does not provide a happy ending to this sorrowful tale, if anything it rages and laments deeper and harder than its predecessors. Again, there's an ebb and flow, with the tempo changing, and the mood alternating between fury and misery, and every shade of grey in between. As harsh and chill as an Icelandic dawn, this secretive collective has produced an outstanding debut release. The ideal soundtrack to a day spent working at home looking out at the chaos of the world and wondering where it all went wrong. Given the lack of detail available for Vofa, it's difficult to determine if this release represents a coming together of disparate figures to howl into the abyss and return to their normal projects, or if there are plans to reconvene for further releases. I for one hope it's the latter.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Vofa I
2. Vofa II
3. Vofa III

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Vofa bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-04-17 by Chris Hawkins
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