Album review: Vnder A Crvmbling Moon – I: Oblivion

V-loving post-metal newcomers Vnder A Crvmbling Moon step out of the shadows with chest crushing debut I: Oblivion...

Album review: Vnder A Crvmbling Moon – I: Oblivion
Sam Law

Does the band-name for new British post-metal collective Vnder A Crvmbling Moon remind anyone else of the old childhood ruse that Earth’s lunar satellite was really made of cheese? Just us? Good. Because devastating debut I: Oblivion (February’s 0.1: The Prelude, first released when VACM were called ‘The New Sun’, doesn’t count) hits not like some sphere of insubstantial Stilton but with the force of a cast-iron cannonball square in the gut.

It’s hardly surprising. Featuring members of some of UK underground metal’s finest acts – Garganjua, Conjurer, Codex Alimentarius – the collective already know their way around neck-rending riffs and fathomless grooves. What’s more remarkable here is how there’s no ‘supergroup’ disjointedness in the songwriting, but rather weighty self-assuredness in the vast, vicious sounds they’ve come together to churn out.

Stretching out over more than 13 minutes, When The Nightmare Came initially invokes the dreamy, portentous post-rock of Mogwai before erupting, volcanically, into a far denser torrent of molten metal guitars and atmospheric intensity comparable to icons like Amenra and Sunn O))). The Watcher rides in on the kind of doomy harmonies that would do My Dying Bride proud before plunging into the infernal depths, then rising again into gorgeously melancholic closing flourish. A Call From The Void is another three-part epic, bludgeoning mercilessly into its ambient middle passage before hammering its way back out again.

An exercise in overwhelming force, I: Oblivion is, fittingly, a record that seems to drag you into its murky depths, but there are glimmers of hope and light as closing tracks Destruction and Salvation sweep through. Rather than the light/dark duology that those titles would suggest, they wring the contrast between shifting shades of grey, with bellicose roars seguing into plaintive croons while the guitars weave into a tapestry of anger and astonishment, positivity and pain. A monolithic first statement from one of the UK’s heaviest new bands.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Conjurer, Svalbard, Ahab

I: Oblivion is out now via Church Road

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