The artistic journey of the Swedish quartet, active since 2009 with Cult of Lazarus and now in its fifth full length with Deimos Sanktuarium, continues unabated. The band has never dissipated its compositional energies in lesser formats, except for an EP in 2010, preferring the long-distance format to make us appreciate their sound. Every two years, always accompanied by beautiful covers created by Mattias Frisk, Vanhelgd give us moments of great death music, steeped in doom; this work is no exception, seven tracks of medium-length duration, where one is trapped in a desperate, anguished and catacomb-like sound world. Over time, the band has relaxed its rhythms, losing nothing in ferocity and tension; on the contrary, deadly death doom cadences plunge us into gloomy, sinister worlds where the guitars weave oppressive atmospheres without needing to run wild. The sinister and malignant progression of Profaned is the blood of the covenant is chilling and poisonous to the point of complete paralysis of our senses. The band does not reinvent the wheel, but they know death very well and know how to shape their own sound with absolute inspiration, where everything is aimed at the slow organ-sensory disintegration; everything is more devious, we do not find gratuitous violence or frenzied rhythms, but claustrophobic atmospheres that grip the bowels with the mephitic growl of Mattias and Jimmy Johansson leading the dance. The tracks all have their own peculiarities: in The ashes of our defeat a heavy organ sound takes us back in time, giving us majestic and desperate moments, while in The silent observer the more properly death rhythms fade into the multi-voiced coda with a strong epic flavour. An excellent album from an inspired band that doesn’t have to prove anything any more and should be listened to carefully. (M.Pagliaro – MetalEyes 12/11/2018)

2018 – Pulverised Records