Album Review: The Voynich Code – Aqua Vitae (Primordial Records)

Portuguese Technical death metal/deathcore band, The Voynich Code, released their fantastic debut album on May 5th 2017 via Primordial Records. Aqua Vitae mixes technical metal with a classic deathcore sound.

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The gorgeous melody that introduces Aqua Vitae doesn’t quite prepare you for the technical death metal assault that follows with Aurum. A crunching beat with earth-shattering riffs & bloodying vocals, it’s an exciting start to an album that is all about a sonic assault.

Crushingly heavy but with plenty of rhythmic elements that keep every song sounding different, Aqua Vitae is a modern sounding death metal record that can draw parallels with the likes of the intense technicality of Meshuggah.

It’s understated but the use of keyboard synth sounds really adds extra layers to the crushing deathcore of the album. It’s importance can’t be understated in making Aqua Vitae such a fantastic listen.

I, The Weak, Flight 19 & Delusion keep the first half heavy & challenging. Blasting beats & hooks that dig away at your mind, it immerses you in its furious pace. Hope I is a short haunting breather (sounds like a tune that belongs in Silent Hill 2), a time to reflect on what’s been heard & what is going to come afterwards.

Born to Suffer is insane, the pace is so fast that it’s almost unbelievable that human beings are playing this kind of music. The guitar sound is transfixing & the effect that sits behind the main beat just highlights the incredible style of it. The best song on the album.

The ferocity & imagination continues throughout the rest of the album with the brutal riffs of King for a Day, the fantastic soloing in Behind the Mirror & the melodic beauty of the short Immortalis.

This incredible album comes to a close with the 7 minute masterpiece, The Weight of a Mortal’s Soul. Twisting & curving like a snake wrapping its way around your body, squeezing the life out of you, it’s filled with exciting riffs, stunning rhythm & the most angry sounding vocals of the record. It’s the perfect ending to Aqua Vitae, an album that can proudly hold it’s head up as one of the best releases this year.

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The Voynich Code – Aqua Vitae Full Track Listing:

1. Aqua Vitae
2. Aurum
3. I, The Weak
4. Flight 19
5. Delusion (feat. Jake Luhrs)
6. Hope I
7. Born to Suffer
8. King for a Day (feat. Andrew Patterson)
9. Behind the Mirror (feat. Ed Garcia)
10. Hope II
11. Immortalis
12. The Weight of a Mortal’s Soul

You can pick up Aqua Viate now over on Bandcamp as well as on Apple Music below. You can also pick up some of the band’s merchandise over on Big Cartel. Find out more about The Voynich Code over on Facebook & Twitter as well listen to some of their music on Soundcloud & YouTube.

The Voynich Code - Aqua Vitae (Primordial Records)
  • The Final Score - 9.5/10
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