Unsung #1: Vehementer Nos

The Grind That Annoys is jumping on the bandwagon of regular posts on underrated records. Hell, why not? Unsung will take a look at those albums, EPs, demos or whatever that are largely overlooked, whether it’s a discarded gem in the catalogues of legends or the finest hour of an underground band with a fan base countable on one hand. This, the first instalment, looks at…

Vehementer Nos – Vehementer Nos
In the last few years, France has become quite a fertile ground for metal, and black metal with a penchant for the avant-garde in particular. Deathspell Omega, early Alcest, Blut Aus Nord should all give you an idea; three very different bands but all with roots firmly in black metal and with Alcest most notably veering off in an entirely different direction. Meanwhile, you have the likes of Peste Noire keeping things raw and nasty and then there’s Celeste’s brand of blackened hardcore.
However in 2007, Vehementer Nos released what still remains as their sole release, their self-titled album, despite forming in 2000. Released on Osmose Productions, the album never really got the recognition it so richly deserved. For just over 40 minutes this mysterious outfit unleashed a deathly cacophony characterised by ungodly vocals and thick, unrelenting riffs as well as towering tremolo-picked riffing.
It’s no secret that black metal has evolved drastically since the turn of the century and while there are many bands that epitomise the change, which is either loved or maligned,  Vehementer Nos crafted their own gleaming showpiece. Listen to the song ‘Sevls’, HERE, to really get a feel for this record. It’s utterly ferocious.
The album is introduced, however, by the ceremonial vibes of ‘Dontre le Dyole’ with a haunting choir-like chant only to erupt into a flurry of blastbeats glossed over with symphonics. ‘Les Devastes’ then instigates with dissonant guitars and Erik Danielsson-tinged vocals that truly usher in the greatness of this record.
There is little or no information on the band over four years on from the release of this album – no official announcement of disbanding or an assurance that Vehementer Nos is an entity that even still exists. It means that unfortunately any hopes of a second album seem fairly fruitless right now. Perhaps it’s a good thing though, Vehementer Nos is one unparalleled listen that stands entirely on its own.

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