VIRUS “The Agent That Shapes The Desert”

Release Date: March, 2011

Label: Duplicate Records (self-released)

I have written and erased the first sentence of this review 20 times or something. Were it on paper, now I’d have a trash can full of tatty paperballs. I never expected it to upset me that much but on the other hand we’re discussing about Czral. The man (amongst other brilliant men) behind a “Written In Waters” and a “666 International”, the man behind AURA NOIR’s supreme blackthrashing thrills and the man who finally freed completely his creative instincts through the VIRUS vessel along with equally special Einar Sjurso.

Inside “The Agent That Shapes The Desert” one can find almost every intriguing aspect of VIRUS, such as the trippy avant-garde guitars, the emphatic bass-playing, the drums their own distinctive sound. Here are also those magnificent vocals, interpreting the lyrics through an improvisational mood, having on them something of an ARCTURUS-like Garm theatricality. And the opening track is just glorious and “Chromium Sum” embraces us with its warm atmosphere. However, something here is missing. It’s somewhat hard to describe it and I might come to subjective enough conclusions but this time VIRUS just seem content with what they have achieved so far. They seem to lack the flame of restlessness and endless creativity that led to the mad VOIVODisms of the debut or “Black Flux’s” narrative playfulness coming straight from VED BUENS ENDE. And this becomes clearer through the second half of the album where –“Dead Cities Of Syria” excluded- the rest pieces look like they’re there to “complete the job” and the same goes for aforementioned Garm’s guest appearance in “Call Of The Tuskers”.

I don’t know if the above seems too disappointing, but in no case I would call it a mediocre record. Not even simply good or OK, it’s a Czral album after all. Added to that, I believe it might be the perfect chance for someone to get to know VIRUS. I just missed the aura of their previous two works. Maybe you should just ignore this, listen to the songs and judge by yourselves.

~ by antifleshnimbus on April 13, 2011.

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