I’ve seen this Toronto trio live at least a couple times, most recently opening for The Body atop a skateboard ramp on Bathurst. The bass/drums/violin outfit notably features Blood Ceremony bassist Lukas Gadke, who also lends some death-metal growls to the proceedings. I suppose you could file this one under “Doom,” but I’d hesitate to slap an “Occult” tag on it as well—since I’m not sure about the lyrical content. One of the song titles appears to be in German, and another one, “Heiemo,” is a Norwegian word…
That said, Völur certainly adopt doom’s plodding pace, as the four tracks on here collectively clock in at nearly 42 minutes. “Es wächst aus seinem Grab,” which loosely translates to “It Grows from His Grave,” opens the album on a rather downtrodden note, with the violin ringing out above a Wintery backbeat, before the guttural growls signal a slight change in tone—things actually get even slower afterwards, and we hear some chanting around the 3:30 mark. There’s a pretty fierce fiddle solo thrown in before the song comes to a screeching halt.
“The Deep-Minded” is a 13-and-a-half-minute number that’s largely violin-driven, with a rumbling bass in the background gradually growing louder, before turning into a rumbling, doomy clanger with notes of Black Sabbath…if Ozzy was a classically trained violinist. For the most part, though, it’s got mellower, post-rock vibe, albeit backed by heavy, doomy bass. Some of these bass lines certainly sound like Geezer Butler. By contrast, the six-minute “White Phantom” is the shortest track, anchored by mellow, xylophonic bass and slowly strung violin. This song wouldn’t sound outta place on a relaxation CD.
The album ends with the 14-minute “Heiemo,” which initially starts off sounding like its predecessor, though there seems to be a more ominous tone looming in the background. We hear the first cymbal crashes right around the three-minute mark…followed by a few seconds of complete silence that are soon interrupted by a solitary, meandering bass line. But after several minutes, I’m still waiting for that big, gloomy gut punch I felt on the opening track…and it doesn’t appear to be arriving. We do eventually get some doomy bass lines and haunting violin about 10 and a half minutes in, although the buildup might have been a bit too long.