Vikorra Doom

Album Title: 
The Ghost From Sheol
Release Date: 
Monday, January 8, 2024
Review Type: 

Cryo Crypt is a very young side-label of Cryo Chamber with the aim to concentrate on a rather Dungeon Synth oriented identity. While the main label digs in the mud of Cinematic Ambient Music, this sub-label will release material by Cryo Chamber family members (and others?) that indeed explore the aural realms beneath the dungeon. The focus lies on releases in cassette format.

In 2023, this new label had a first release, Grayshadow Ruins by Mountain Realm, an outfit by label owner Simon Heath (of Atrium Carceri-fame, amongst quite some others) (link for the review: see below). This review deals with the second release, which is a creation by the project Vikorra Doom. This outlet was formed by Bruce Moallem aka God Body Disconnect, another close relative of the Cryo Chamber family. The Ghost From Sheol has been printed on tape too, with a double side-print with extra foldback panel. It comes with remarkable (cover and inlay) artwork (in a dark color-palette), taken care of, evidently, by Mister Heath himself. It got pressed in an edition of 260 copies, by the way.

The Ghost From Sheol was written, performed and produced by Bruce, with mastering duties taken care of by Simon Heath. It’s the first chapter (and I hope it is not the last) in a story of the protagonist Vikorra Doom, and the lands of Sh’goria. Vikorra Doom was a clan-leader who got betrayed, and eventually slayed (beheaded) by one of his trustees (Xalul). His soul was condemned to eternal restlessness within the realms of the underworld. However, he will take vengeance for events taken place in the past. Therefor he joined forces with the gatekeepers of this afterworld. In return for his ‘escape’, he must grant the gatekeepers a list of warriors that cheated death, yet he hasn’t much time. If Vikorra fails, or cheats, wrath will be his everlasting penitence.

Anyway, this first episode is divided into eleven individual yet coherent (cf. the adventurous narrative) chapters, clocking about forty minutes. As from the opening hymn From The Realm Of Dust And Darkness, Vikorra Doom offers the audience an enormously doomed, heavy form of Dungeon Ambient Synth that takes elements from the most exquisite yet bleak regions of Doom, Winter Synth, Martial Industrial, Dark Ambient and Fantasy Synth. Every episode is based around a manifold scala of synth layers, from hypnotic or epic leading parts over grim layers of questing ambience to deep and militant drones. All this gets injected by cool percussions, varying from down-earthed rumbles over martial beats to grotesque drum patterns. Once in a while, additional found sounds and samples too (like footsteps and hooves, wind etc.) get used to finalize the epic storytelling behind The Ghost From Sheol.

Each individual instalment is slightly different from each-other, going for both the sonic execution as well as the sphere around it. Yet there is no doubt that the whole adventure is one huge, cohesive tale. It does nicely reflect the specific moments and happenings during the quest of this story’s protagonist: sometimes reflective and integer, then again combative and persuasive, or rather painting a magnificent landscape of magic dimensions. As a result, it is as fragile as it is solid, taking risks with, at the very same time, a convinced determination in performance.

Important element is the quality of the production. The sound is well-balanced (mix) and stable, but it comes with a certain unpolished roughness. That surely is a positive thing, because is fortifies the misty, expeditious content and concept of the recording. It’s all about a quest into the unknown, guided by revenge, hatred, bravery and impending doom, so this slightly imperfection (on purpose, I am sure) fits!