Prolific Ecuadorian black Vampire metal band release their first full length album
Ok I know, Ecuador is not the first place that springs to mind when we talk about Vampire influenced black metal. But nevertheless, South America has always been a hotbed for all sorts of extreme metal, and they tend to be good at it too.
Since they appeared in 2019, Wampyric Rites have delivered a slew of EPs, Splits, demos, and a single, but this is there debut full length. All 5 tracks of it.. More of a mini album I’d say, but we do get 36 minutes of atmospheric and cold black metal, that also has a Dungeon Synth vibe to it as well.
Yes they are songs of a good length, In fact only 4 of the tracks are actual songs, the third track being an atmospheric instrumental, but we’ll come to that later…
First thing we here is a soft keyboard melody, with the tweeting of birds over the top of it, before ice cold guitar riffing and blast beats tear out of the speakers. Subtle melody prevails throughout, and the vocals are very much in the old school style of exaggerated screams, that sound like the vocals have been recorded in a large underground cavern. Though 8 minutes long, there is enough variation and movement throughout “The Ancient Tyrant Returns From The Deep Forgot” for it not to be boring.
The second track “Rites Under The Fullmoon” has a nice galloping pace to it, that works very nicely thanks to the organic drum production. Halfway through, we have a break of wolves howling before a slower and more punk-style riff takes up the pace again.
We have already had tweeting birds and howling wolves, now we encounter that instrumental I mentioned at the start, “Amidst The Fog of Eternity” starts with a tremelo picked riff, whilst a simple lead melody is laid over it. Throughout, we have the sound of a thunderstorm subtly placed in the background which towards the end becomes dominant as the instruments fade out.
Nature prevails in the title track, which is surprisingly not that of wolves! Instead, we have a pleasing acoustic guitar passage with the calls of a Hornbill bird and others. After a short while, we get the traditional Ecuadorian “Bomba” – A tall free-standing, or carried drum made from animal hides – adding rhythm to proceedings, before we do get the expected howling of wolves. This is the cue for the full-on black metal to hit us.
Double kicks are the body of this one, and the melody is again subtle, but nice atmosphere to it. About halfway through we get a slower movement of a more traditional metal riff, which is like a dagger made of ice.
Our last track of these rites is “Captive In A Desolate Castle“, which has the surprise of a flute playing the melody. No Pan-pipes though! However, it does work very well with this style of black metal that Wampyric Rites play, creating a medieval feel that suits the title of this track perfectly. Aptly we get some more of the dungeon synth sound to finish off the album.
I have to say I enjoyed this. Though not offering anything new or groundbreaking to the genre, it does it very well, and enough so to have its own identity. The production works well, allowing the vocals to become another instrument, which means that it doesn’t matter whatever the lyrics are – it just WORKS!
If you like old-school atmospheric black metal, you cannot go far wrong with this one.
The album is out 26 August 2022
01 – The Ancient Tyrant Returns From The Deep Forgot (8:10)
02 – Rites Under The Fullmoon (6:06)
03 – Amidst The Fog of Eternity (2:47)
04 – The Wolves Howl To The Moon (9:58)
05 – Captive in a Desolate Castle (8:25)
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