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VLK "Transdescendence" Album Review

In the world of metal, there's sometimes nothing better than a solo project that sounds like a full band. That says something about the artist in terms of skillful musicianship and production. Wolf Zaddach (REPTILOID and NEKYIA ORCHESTRA) has put together an EP about vulnerability, destruction of life and domination of greed and hubris. And that's just the subject matter. But just wait until you hear the atmospheric, doomy waves of pure emotion that resonant in the instrumentation.

The opening 'Prelude' is a foggy, misty introduction to the world of Germany's VLK which bleeds into 'Transcendance I', with its anguished vocals, constantly evolving guitars, thudding drums and quiet moments all meshed into one. It speeds up, it slows down, it grabs and grapples you until it smothers you in its despair. 'Uzas' pricks and filters its way through our eardrums, seeping into our subconscious like a snake chasing its prey. There are pianos, throbbing bass, keyboards, and whatever Wolf had up his sleeve at the time. It's a soundtrack to a miasmic adventure only he can imagine. 'Of Wolves And Humankind' is depressive at its least, and torturous as its most. The vocals alone welcome in a sorrow that is as powerful as anything the genre itself can provide. But the sheer creativeness of this EP itself is more than a one-man band should ever be able to produce. And yet, Wolf Zaddach exceeds and excels in his musical performance. 'Transcendence II' is a bubbling cauldron of gurgling noise which gently metamorphoses into final track 'Weltseele', sort of a proggy, jazzy, spontaneous way to end the album. But guess works.

The really cool woodsy cover by his wife pulls all of this together in an adventure of sound, visions and aural self-emergence that sway with the breeze until the hulking winds destroy everything in their path. If this is what one man can do on his first solo EP, I certainly look forward to what VLK can create in the future.

- David Simonton

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