Vyrmn “2012” (2008)

It’s true that we’re reviewing this disc a bit late – 2012 came out in 2008 as the first offering from Vyrmn, mostly a solo project by R. Ashley III. But the EP is a promising glimpse of a sound that will hopefully continue to develop in the studio, a cold space rendition of black metal with plenty of ambient elements, a handful of keyboard sounds and some riffs and chord progressions that lend the songwriting a searching quality, like the songs themselves are actively navigating a seamless mix of some disparate genres.

As a solo project, you gain programmed drums, the opportunity for one person’s vision in songwriting and sound to develop across several pieces; the downside is that the uniformity can be overbearing. This is hardly a problem with 2012 – the relatively short running time allows 5 songs the chance to expand between black metal passages and areas introducing industrial elements, proggy keyboards and ambient sound. Even the most straightforward of the black metal on this disc is slightly tweaked with some cold production, extended harmonies and warped vocal effects, and it gives each song some memorable moments. In some ways, you can hear traces of later Enslaved, but with that band’s warmer psychedelia replaced by an ominous, more aggressive stunt double. Credit is given to Jack Aragon, who apparently provided help with production and ambient layering, and the production here, while not spectacular, maintains a focus on evoking a distance between the sound and the listener throughout the disc. The consistency is nice, and doesn’t feel forced as an undercooked “conceptual” gimmick. The namesake of the album comes from the impending apocalypse in 2012 that the Mayan calendar foretold – and suitable to the concept of complete, violent destruction (possibly by giant Jaguars?), the music has a present aggression that propels the music skyward, and beyond.

One hopes that Mr. Ashley can continue work on this project, if only to see where else it might go. The songwriting is strong, and the curious elements are well integrated, well mixed – even the drum programming is interesting. I hope to see a full length from Vyrmn that gives Ashley and his collaborator a chance to stretch out. – two of the five songs are over 5 minutes, and they demonstrate a capable desire for going epic. So we’re a little late to post this review. Add us to the already positive tally of critics hoping to see more.

Adam Matlock


Release:  2008
Label:  Unsigned
Avantgenre:  Event Horizon Metal
Duration:  26:12
Origin:  USA
Official site: https://myspace.com/multidimensional
Review online since:  03.05.2009 / 09:35:10


01 – Time/Space (Per)Version
02 – Malignant Gravitational Presence
03 – (Machinery of the) Bleeding Platinum Vortex
04 – Extinction Level Event
05 – Other Colder Hells

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