"Vasa Iniquitatis" (Flood the Earth; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

“Vasa Iniquitatis,” from Ordo Tyrannis, is atmospheric, ambient music on Flood the Earth Records. Throughout the years immersing myself in genres I was not familiar with nor comfortable with has generated some impressive, albeit delayed, rewards. Ordo Tyrannis’ dark ambient doom/black metal is certainly a case in point.

Essentially, Ordo Tyrannis ply the trade of atmospheric black metal – or doom for the lack of a better term. The band’s own description of their music is that they’re trying to create the sound of the last human’s last breath – pretty scary concept, in my opinion. Black metal bands continually strive to return to a long gone primal force of nature – Ordo Tyrannis takes it a step further by trying to imagine a world void of humans.

“Vasa Iniquitatis” is the sound of haunting darkness with a death grip on the listener. I’m glad I’m listening to this in the month of October because the Halloween holiday certainly has me in the right frame of mind to appreciate the ever-present doom that Ordo Tyrannis are re-creating in their nihilistic sounds in a warped quasi-industrial funereal procession.

The music is heavily processed. Simple, primal rhythms dominate the percussion while guitars and keyboards usually alternate in eerie moods. The vocals are also heavily processed – as if made to sound like an echo being recorded at the top of a tall stairwell in an old dungeon. In a way, upon the initial few listens of “Vasa Iniquitatis,” the vocals actually detract from the overall impact of the songs. I found “Vasa Iniquitatis” to be most rewarding by focusing on the music first, vocals and lyrics second. This took quite some time and effort – but I found the results to have provided a much better listening experience.

Deliberately slow, “Vasa Iniquitatis” proceeds like a slow realization that something horrific may envelope the surroundings and plunge everything into an abyss.

Trying to understand something as dark as “Vasa Iniquitatis” demands research – as a consequence I’ve sought to understand what the artists that comprise Ordo Tyrannis were thinking. Without giving too much away, I understand that the duo that comprises Ordo Tyrannis are thoughtful, intelligent young men trying to recreate something they feel through music. This is no easy feat – and “Vasa Iniquitatis” strikes me as a labor of love more than anything else.

I would quite imagine that many folks would consider “Vasa Iniquitatis” to be depressing – to me it’s more of a fabricated ‘depression.’ If I want something depressing I’ll reach for My Dying Bride, Blut Aus Nord, or similar bands.

Overall, this disc is a bit tedious to my ears in larger doses, but is tolerable in smaller doses (i.e. two or three songs). For those of you who like the atmospheric, ambient style Ordo Tyrannis’ “Vasa Iniquitatis” will tickle your ears.

Ordo Tyrannis: Saint ov Gravediggers on vocals and incantations and Akhtya Nachttoter on instruments and mutations.

For more information visit http://www.ordotyrannis.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 14:16:13 -0400.