When I first saw the name From the Vastland I assumed that the band was going to be some sort of Behemoth cover band. Boy was I wrong, and I could not be happier to be so foolish. Their latest output, “Chamrosh” was unlike anything I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Experiences like this album do not come often so when you hear an album as good as this you must treasure it. I found the band and listened to them on a whim, having quite literally no idea what they sounded like or what sort of metal they actually played. Originally located in Iran, the band moved to Norway but kept their Mesopotamian/Persian influenced black metal. Before I sat down and listened to them (a few times over to be honest because it’s seriously that good) I had been listening to a lot of Melechesh so I think I was fated to find this band when I did.
Their themes, as well as their music, are middle eastern in nature and having studied a fair bit of Zoroastrian and Persian mythology, I felt myself immediately click with the sound and the lyrics. The music felt authentically abrasive and violent as black metal is supposed to make the listener feel with the added influence of folk music.
For those of you wondering, yes you are about to get a lesson in Persian mythology today, the Chamrosh is one of the primordial birds in Persian mythology, responsible for spreading the seeds of all sorts of plants around the world as well as act as a protector of the people from pillagers and raiders. The bird is both a symbol of life and protection.
The music is, well the music on Chamrosh is by far some of the most technically advanced, beautifully played, and terrifyingly brilliant stuff I have ever heard. I know I’ve said things like that before but if you give even one song on Chamrosh a chance you will see what I mean and know that this is not a hyperbole. The guitars and the bass have sound that’s thick and full yet the music moves faster than any death metal band I’ve heard. And the vocals. You know I can be pretty critical of vocals because of their ability to make or break an album. These vocals made the album. If there had been no music at all to accompany the vocals I would have still loved the album, the vocals were that powerful. They were hyper aggressive and hypnotic, their sound seemed to shift a lot from one earphone to the other, leaving the listener off balance. The shrill, raw power of the vocals really carries the album, despite the fact that the music itself is amazing and could easily stand on its own without the vocals.
Chamrosh and From the Vastland shows us one thing: when you know the subject matter and have passion for it, the music you create from that inspiration will be incredible. I’m not sure how I managed to never hear about From the Vastland but I’m glad I stumbled across them now. Chamrosh has to be one of the most technically proficient and emotionally charged black metal album I have ever heard. I cannot recommend this album enough.
Listen and support!