Album Review: Versifist – “Cipher” (EP)


Versifist sees the benefit of one of the most unholy unions between underground metal labels in history with Vault of Dried Bones and Iron Bonehead Productions releasing their latest EP, Cipher. Clearly metal loves its analog and if you haven’t fallen back in love with a virtual treasure chest of underground metal on analog that’s been released over the past few years, take your Slipknot CDs and flush them down your cesspool of a toilet. Versifist plays black/death metal that romps, gallops, then blasts to levels of melody and musicianship few bands can milk from the strings of a guitar, beat out of a solid drumkit, bludgeon with the basso profundo magic of a six-string bass guitar. Only Versifist’s second EP thus far, Cipher is a great two-song soundtrack to your melatonin-filled days and reverie-laden nights. Hail Satan. Hail Versifist.

Two songs that speak of quality musicianship inspiring the decision-makers at both labels, Versifist thrash with death metal aesthetics, fused with black metal the likes of old Dissection, without the lead accompaniments. The two songs are really addictive and really good for repeat listens. It didn’t take me tons of repeats to appreciate Cipher. I dug this right away, and underground metallers who like straightforward black/death without the super-downtuned sixth string will love the death thrash sensibilities Versifist mix into their sound.

Versifist is comprised of stellar musicians. The music does not sound under-rehearsed, recorded on a live take without much practice. In fact, the tremolo riffs sound so deftly-picked that the production values succeed only in enhancing the experience of listening to the record.


The vocals are hoarse whispers, black metal-influenced more than death metal-inspired. The devil does great things to bewilder mankind into his service, some say. Versifist leaves no doubt in my mind that art is foremost in the devil’s repertoire of genius.

Versifist hails from Canada, and comes with one of my favorite logos in metal fandom and is a great act to see live. Check out Cipher and hear just why.

– Al Necro

Cipher is available now on Vault of Dried Bones and Iron Bonehead Productions. For more information on Versifist visit their Facebook page.

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