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Review: With Ink Instead of Blood – Ars Goetia/Godless Apparitions

With Ink Instead of Blood is a Russian deathcore supergroup made up of former and current members from Slaughter to Prevail, Taking Your Last Chance, A Legacy Unwritten, and Lost in Alaska. Ars Goetia/Godless Apparitions is WIIOB’s second full-length album and is what we’ll be looking into today. Just like many other Russian releases, this one is heavy and worth a listen. You can check it out on Youtube, Bandcamp, Spotify, and head to WIIOB’s Facebook!

There are two things that stand out the most to me: the vocals and the production. The vocals have a nice range and execute each style rather well. The lows are guttural and the highs bite deep. The vocals always seem to be able to make whatever is playing more sinister than it already sounds, and there are plenty of sinister moments. The bass is always audible and has distortion of some sort on it. It usually always makes the guitars sound much lower and deeper so the breakdowns are always nice.

WIIOB blends together elements from black metal, deathcore, and death metal in a pretty unique way. The black metal influence is a lot stronger on some songs than others, but still have the deathcore aspect thrown in like “Lucifer: the Fallen Savior.” Between the tremolo picked riffage, the high pitched screams, the satanic language, and the tastefully done accompanying synth, “Lucifer: the Fallen Savior” bleeds black the whole time. Unlike a lot of black metal though, this song changes up with the vocals, drums, and guitars. Blast beats aren’t spammed and the vocals go guttural. That and black metal doesn’t have breakdowns.

On the more deathcore side of things is “Amdusias: Infernal Cacophony.” If you listen to this and “Lucifer: the Fallen Savior” back to back you wouldn’t think they were on the same album because of how differently each song progresses and by how each song just is. There are more breakdowns in “Amdusias: Infernal Cacophony” and more chug-based riffing. The lead guitar stands out because of the tapped rhythms it’ll play or the tremolo-picked high notes for atmosphere. I love the vocal effect(s) used on this track because it adds to the ethereal sound WIIOB is going for. I use the word ethereal lightly because of its divine implication. There is nothing divine or heavenly about Ars Goetia/Godless Apparitions. I wouldn’t venture to say it’s evil, but it definitely touches base in the demonic/satanic realm. Very cool.

I like the breakdowns on Ars Goetia/Godless Apparitions. They aren’t anything special, but they are timed well and hit hard almost every time. The vocals and bass are major contributing factors to that because without them, they wouldn’t land as well. Every song manages to sneak a breakdown in there, even the more black metal ones like “Sitri: Unholy Desecration” and “Beleth: Horror in the Flesh.” Those songs really go out of the deathcore realm for a while until they’re brought back for some good ol’ chuggin’. You can’t really predict when the breakdowns will happen in those songs either so your first time listening is extra fun.

I really enjoyed Ars Goetia/Godless Apparitions, it’s a very unique album. Not many bands try the whole blackened deathcore thing and if they do it’s usually more deathcore than black metal. The atmosphere is done very well, courtesy of the production. The drumming is different than a lot of other bands too. There is a lot of talent within With Ink Instead of Blood. I recommend checking this album out.

Rate: 8.1/10

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