Thrown to the Abyss

Label: Vargheist Records
Three similar bands: Psionic Madness/Vertebra Atlantis/Sermon of Flames

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Traverse the Arkhanspire
2. Immortal Ninth Tribunal
3. Antediluvian Watchers
4. Chronoblast Paradox
5. The Breathing Reflection
6. Black Flame of Purification
7. Temporal Pathways
8. Ascendance Incinerated


Justin Vølus - all instruments, vocals, and lyrics

The Vermin Speak (EP 2018)
Festering Anti​-​Cosmic Wound (2020)
Deadstar Illumination (EP 2021)


Justin Vølus - Engineering and Mixing
Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studio - Mastering
Front Cover Artwork - Dede Suhita
CD Inlays and Recoloring - Justin Vølus

Released 2022-06-11
Reviewed 2022-07-27

vargheist records

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It is easy to feel thrown to the abyss when listening to some of the albums I receive, I particularly dislike some of the basement back- and death metal stuff that I tend to get. Not usually because they are completely terrible it is just that they are so dull, and the dark sound makes it useless as background sound or anything. One-man projects that is quite common in that area is even worse (as far as I can determine, it is not something I have really researched) as if you let one person with the illusion of being creative roam free it tends to end up eerily similar to all the other persons with the same illusion – so much for individuality I guess. I do note when researching this album that some reviewers are extremely generous with their ratings giving full marks, but if you write on of the best and give maximum score – how many full marks do you expect in a year? Hallowed has given two with the max score in the last five years, so a maximum score would be almost a given that it is best of the year.

But let’s check out Vølus who isn’t from Norway, perhaps that is a plus, he is from the USA, and the person behind the labem Vargheist Records. Also a member of many bands, but this is his own project where he has done an album before this one. This album that sounds like dark extreme metal most often do, the growling, the riffs, the chugging, the smattering drums, the dark atmosphere – this is the more dissonant version, often the case with one-man projects. There are different songs but the difference between mediocre extreme metal and say power metal is that there are way more obvious nuances in the power metal as everything tends to drown in a wall of sound when it comes to the extreme metal and the albums melt together into a mass. It is a genre that require experts to make out the difference between the bands. I have heard hundreds of bands/one-man bands/projects in this genre but if you play a random record that I have reviewed I don’t think I would be able to guess what band or album you played – they sound the same.

This is really nothing special, just another dissonant dark metal album like so many others. For the genre friends it is probably more interesting, for them it might even be considered a highlight, but for the general public I doubt it will make much of an impact. Personally, I’d rather play the opening 30 seconds of the Fellowship album I recently reviewed 54 times than this album again, it would feel less repetitive. But if you are a fan of the genre, and an expert in the extreme metal stuff you should really make up your mind yourself as it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I play this album, or most others in the genre, they just sound the same as everything else.