Vessels of Light and Decay is the second full length from London, England’s Indesinence. It’s been six years since their last release but this brand of death doom isn’t the sort of frivolous or trivial death metal a band can pump out year after year. Vessels of Light and Decay carries an immense weight both musically and lyrically. Indesinence has steeped this brew to perfection. Dark as night with no sugar added.
Vessels opens with ‘Flux’, and ominous minute with choral vocals leading into the first of three fourteen minute tracks in ‘Paradigms’. Crashing cymbals and building tension enhance the Transylvanian mood. When the song hits full speed it takes a classic ground and pound approach to death metal, flattening the listener with bludgeoning riffs. Indesinence slow the pace from gallop to plodding to crushing doom as the track unfurls. Vocalist/guitarist Ilia Rodriguez’s vocals take a cavernous bent on the typical death growls, coming across very black metallic, deepening the apocalyptic character of the album.
‘Vanished in the Haze’ and ‘Communion’ take a shorter path towards creating the sense of dread permeating Vessels. The horror-inflected and soul-scathing doom of ‘Vanished’ weaves precious melody into its destructive power chords while tortured vocals admonish inner demons. The blistering rage of ‘Communion’ swirls in long haired glory, the Horsemen spurring their steeds ever harder. The inertia of the sudden transitions to gut wrenching doom from the breakneck death are more sickening because of this.
Giving the listener a chance to relax the nerves, mind and body is ‘La Madrugata Eterna’. This immensely calming cinematic drone is pleasantly mind expansive and meditative. One can only hope the vinyl has a second disc where this is the focus (a la Withered and the vinyl version of Dualitas).
Vessels finishes with two more long tunes. As with ‘Paradigms’ their length is inconsequential. Expansive as they may be, attention is never lacking. The songs hold you for their entirety. ‘Fade (Further Beyond)’ is a three part journey seemingly with a mind of its own. As if the track itself dictated the path and the pacing. The rest of the band in Andy McIvor (bass), John Wright (guitars) and Dani Ben-Haim (drums) join Rodriguez in crafting a magnificently constructed epic. ‘Unveiled’ is heavily melancholic. Its dark energies sap the listener’s will. The sadness and loss in the lyrics are transmorphed into the accompaniment beautifully. It’s as emotionally taxing a doom track as you will hear all year. It envelopes the listener in emotion with its drive, confidence and eventual air of triumph.
Vessels of Light and Decay is superb. More of a grower, multiple spins help bring out the subtle touches and allows the full experience of the album to be realized. Once captured, Vessels locks you within its decaying chambers and provides the soundtrack to your suffering. The full effect of the album is best when listening on a good stereo. The aura and dark undertones of Vessels must resonate through the room to connect with our human frequencies. Our flesh and blood are the vessels of light and decay.