Album Review: Order of Nosferat — “Vampiric Wrath Unleashed”

Modern black metal demonstrates an immeasurable amount of variety — in songwriting, genre crossovers, range of influences, melodicism, technicality, and so much more. Every year brings something new and exciting to the genre. This is all well and good, but any chance to revisit the simpler roots of the genre (and do it effectively) is certainly welcome. With lo-fi buzzsaw riffs and atmospheric dungeon synth, Order of Nosferat ring in the winter solstice with their latest offering of undead evil, Vampiric Wrath Unleashed.

Like the previous three albums Order of Nosferat have released in the past two years, Vampiric Wrath Unleashed alternates between black metal and dungeon synth tracks. The riffing and song structures are primarily drawn from classic second-wave bands without straying into “five straight minutes of blast beats” territory, but what really shines through are the background synths that provide the music’s melodic component. Closely tied to this is the dungeon synth interludes which are easily the most interesting part of the album; it would be easy to make these into spooky Halloween store-lite ambience, but they end up being a lot more subtle. If the metal songs are the violence and death necessary for vampirism, the dungeon synth tracks convey a surprising vulnerability in the inherent loneliness of the condition. None demonstrate this better than “The Lone Lord,” whose final minute perfectly evokes the sound of a music box that might have belonged to a former lover, long outlived by the titular vampire.

Vampiric Wrath Unleashed does nothing to reinvent the wheel for either the band or the genre, but it doesn’t need to. Order of Nosferat know their formula and seem very keen to stick to it, and when a black metal band is this good at conveying their theme there’s not much need for innovation. The music may be simple when compared to some of their peers in the genre, but it’s surprisingly effective.


Vampiric Wrath Unleashed is available now on Purity Through Fire. For more information on Order of Nosferat, visit their Facebook page.

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