(V.E.G.A.) - _Cocaine_
(Debemur Morti, 2006)
by: Andreas Marouchos (8 out of 10)
(V.E.G.A.) are not the ones for a popularity contest. If it hadn't been for this re-issue by Debemur Morti four years after its initial release, _Cocaine_ most probably would be still meandering amidst the lowest planes of obscurity.

I must say _Cocaine_ is an interesting album. The fact that they artistically exhibit, as emanated through the album, an intransigent indifference to safe formulaic approaches is definitely to their credit. So what happens when genuine human emotion is distilled, purified and extracted in its purest audial form? What happens when pain and despair are the only constituents of such an artistic concoction? These may seem banal questions, but they are indeed pertinent upon first listening to _Cocaine_.

As one first engages unto the album's musical cataclysm, he or she might wonder if this inhuman, almost mechanic delivery is the product of some sentient cyborg bereft of anything remotely human. But alas, that sense of anguish spilling out between every played note from the album's bleak compositions reassuringly convince us otherwise, since it is only within the human soul that we find such an abyss.

_Cocaine_ is not a conservative album; it incisively adheres to insanely fast tempos and ear-bleeding riffage to rip through the listeners any remaining shred of hope, as well as using finely placed electro beats and synthesizer based passages, which are a steady and important accompaniment to both the album's speed frenzies and slower segments. The paroxysmal nature of the wafer-thin guitar-based compositions can be interestingly invigorating, allowing only a glimpse, thankfully, of the delusional world of a drug-addict. Slightly Anaal Nathrakh-esque in style, although mostly stuck in neck-snapping speeds, they tenaciously hold your attention until the album hits the finish mark. Essentially, black metal here is subjugated, deformed and assimilated in such a manner that it becomes a mere battered medium to convey something maleficent and ominous, lurking somewhere in the subconscious' dark antipodes that few dare even to air out.

Steeped in human angst and percolated through a cold, calculating mind, the final extract, _Cocaine_, is more of a malediction viciously directed against anything hopeful and beautiful, or perhaps an inner confession even, which for any unprepared listener can become quite a harrowing trip indeed.

Contact: http://www.vega-korporation.com

(article published 20/6/2006)


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