AboutWith a name derived from "völva," a seeress in Norse folklore, Völur are not the kind of band to fulfill faux-pagan longings, neither thematically nor musically. The Toronto based trio is comprised of bassist Lucas Gadke, drummer Justin Ruppel, and experimental electric violinist Laura C. Bates. Together they weave together folk melodies, heavy riffs, and chthonic chants to breed powerful and chilling slabs of meditative doom. Moving between high-tension, plodding chaos, and beautiful pastoral moods, Völur aims to reflect the world of primordial nature inspired by ancient myths and chilling poems of death and heroism. Leaving all those who witness their live shows transfixed and spellbound, the power trio has become one of Canada's premiere forces in heavy music.
Electric & Upright Bass, Vocals / Lucas Gadke
Electric Violin, Viola, Vocals / Laura C. Bates
Drums & Drones / Justin Ruppel
Notes on Death CultTo the casual listener, VÖLUR might 'just' appear to write great doom songs with an avant-garde approach using elements from folk, classical music and free jazz. Those delving deeper into "Death Cult" will discover a singular dark world where ancient ritual becomes modern angst, a violin has replaced all guitars, and a multitude of fascinating lyrical and musical discoveries awaits.
The third full-length of the Canadian trio from Toronto was partly inspired by a suggestion of human sacrifice that Tacitus relates in his book "Germania". According to the Roman historiographer, the Germanic tribes of the Baltic Sea worshipped the earth goddess Nerthus through a mysterious ritual that ended with the drowning of four slaves. "I came to the realisation that this sacrifice to some never answering deity is a repeating cycle of people doing something that does nothing to solve real problems and only leaves dead people behind”, explains VÖLUR vocalist and bass player Lucas Gadke. "This makes 'Death Cult' probably the closest thing to a political album we will ever come up with. It is basically a lament for all the destruction, the burning, and gnawing away of this planet’s natural environment. Again, humankind appears to be stuck in a futile vicious cycle until it is too late."
The theme of a lament is running through the musical side of "Death Cult", which is denoted by outbursts of anger, moments of melancholy, and audible despair. Although VÖLUR clearly fit into the doom metal mold, they connect to a far broader soundscape. Folk or traditional music plays an important role as exemplified by the violin replacing guitars, but the Canadians are equally at home in contemporary genres.
While staying true to the folk doom style that the trio introduced with their debut EP “Disir” (2014) and expanded on the first full-length “Ancestors” (2017), the third album witnesses VÖLUR honing their craft. “Death Cult” is characterized by a tightening of compositions and a complete amalgamation of the separate stylistic influences into one cohesive musical experience that still offers a broad range and a host of details waiting to be discovered.
VÖLUR smash the hollow idols on whose altars the merciless priests of capital and industry sacrifice our planet with "Death Cult" – a sinister lament born from folk, modern classical music and a heavy dose of doom metal.
released November 13, 2020