Vinculum Terminatii – Omnis Decido

I can say without a doubt that Vinculum Terminatii is the best metal band from Rhode Island I’ve ever heard.  I can also say that, aside from the other bands that main member Nicolas has played in, they are the only one.

Melodic doom/death stuff composed by a guy whose history revolves pretty much exclusively brutal death/goregrind material sounds like a dodgy prospect at first glance, but the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.  Grind and doom are essentially polar opposites in mood and delivery, so it does make some sense that both sides of the coin would appeal to the same person.  When you get down to it, is funeral doom that much different from grindcore?  They both have a great emphasis on tempo and texture as a way of communicating intent, and artists from the latter often switch over to something at least approaching the former.  More importantly, though, is that Nicolas has proven that he can perform both sides of such a duality very well, and ‘Omnis Decido’ is a very strong doom metal release all around.  Vinculum Terminatii’s music almost sounds like what would happen if you took modern My Dying Bride, stripped it of its overweening gothic moments and overtly cheesy sections, and injected just a bit more traditional death metal influence into it.  It’s probably not the best thing for those who need obsessively weepy-mopey romantic doom/death, but for the rest of us who want something less one-dimensional, it’s great.

The sound of this demo is really excellent, with a crisp yet resonant guitar tone and slightly submerged but powerful vocals.  As a strange additional element, I like the (seemingly programmed) drums a lot.  They remind me a lot of Fungoid Stream, where no effort at all is made to hide the computerized nature, giving it an additional feel of crashing sparseness, where the rhythms have more room to experiment and truly echo the rest of the music, instead of being bound by how they ‘should’ sound.  The riffing is composed in a rather funereal style at times as well; obviously the pace is a bit quicker, but many of the melodies are approached in the Thergothon vein much moreso than Katatonia.  As you would expect, Thergothon-style riffage is always a good thing in a doom band, and it doesn’t fail to disappoint here.  But in this case, the density of the notes has been upgraded, transforming those bare-bones paeans to the great old ones into newly romantic yet still abstract canyons of winding lead guitar melody.

Individual moments on this demo are hard to remember.  But this is less an accusation of a lack of memorability on the part of the songwriting so much as a reference to how the release really must be heard as a whole to fully appreciate.  This is really much more a mini-album than it is a ‘demo’; the latter term implies that the band has something to prove, which Vinculum Terminatii really doesn’t, considering the quality and depth of their compositions as it stands.  As far as ‘demo-level’ bands go, this one is perhaps more likely to succeed than any other I’ve heard recently.  This music is sophisticated in a great number of ways, not the least of which is its willingness to alienate a certain segment of its potential audience via an unwillingness to compromise the natural complexity of the music they create.  It is a truly ‘metal’ project.

If you like doom metal that really seems to be trying to push the style forward, I highly recommend Vinculum Terminatii.  Every element of this band seems to be in place to truly take the doom scene by storm, and it would only require them to be a bit more noticed by the scene at large.  Really excellent stuff all around, and I look forward to hearing more from them.

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~ by noktorn on January 17, 2008.

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