Here we are with yet another metal band heavily inspired by space, and sci-fi. Germany’s Vyre has been at it for 7 years now, with Weltformel being their third full length album. The band’s fascination in space travel and the future is rather intense, so to speak, and scrolling through their Facebook page one quickly gets up to date with recent discoveries in the topic. With my previous exposure to such themes being in the thrash, or progressive thrash metal styles, Weltformel promises to be a rather different experience, as Vyre plays music that is more in the veins of avant-garde, and post black metal.
Alles Auf Ende immediately presents a rather futuristic soundscape to the listener, and the ambience that the band creates over here easily reminded me of the atmosphere Norway’s Arcturus created with their last opus Arcturian. Throughout the album, Vyre ensures that such a haunting backdrop maintains, reminding one of the vast emptiness of space, and the uncertainty of the future. That Arcturus comparison continues as the band kicks into high gear with Shadow Biosphere, with the heavy orchestration that accompanies the black metal-styled playing of the rest of the band.
The rather constant switch between different musical styles on Weltformel also showcases some of the progressive metal influences that the band has. There are many moments on the album where the riff brings in comparisons to the solo works of Ihsahn, particularly on his earlier material on angL or After. It certainly helps that the vocals – both the growls/shrieks, and clean vocals – of Cypher bears some similarity to the aforementioned, though Vyre indeed displays a wider range of musical styles on Weltformel.
With the shift in musical styles and phrases, the band also manages to convey a whole range of emotions to the listener. Life Decoded for instance, sees Vyre often intertwining some rather calming moments with more aggressive ones, as well as bleaker moments, presented via trem-picked riffs, palm-muted ones, or through the heavy battery of drummer Android. The instrumental track The Hitch (We are not Small) also sees the band using electronica to enhance that futuristic element in their music. Listening through Weltformel, one is often left with a mixture of a sense of dread and unease about the uncertainty of humanity’s future, with one of hope and curiosity.
One recurring pattern in bands that play future-inspired themes, is in the excellent production of their releases, and Vyre‘s Weltformel is no different. In fact, that was the first thing that caught my attention – the polished sound that further brings across the message of the band. For instance, the guitars are sufficiently heavy, and retain that trebly black metal tone for the bleakness, and is often balanced out by the heavy synths at the background as well as the rather prominent of R2B2’s bass in the mix.
Which brings us to the final note on Weltformel – the ingenious usage of the different instruments on the album. This especially so with the synths, as Faruk often adapts the sound and tone of his instrument to drive the mood of the tracks, be it the sci-fi sound on Life Decoded, or that slight spine-tingling moment on Tardigrade Empire.
Vyre‘s third full length album has been rather impressive, and while it does draw similarities to the works of Arcturus‘ Arcturian (to be honest, the only Arcturus album that I’ve enjoyed thus far in their discography), the band brings so much more to the table. Perhaps the future isn’t so bleak after all.