Taking your name from a painful medical condition means that you’re not leaving much up to the imagination in terms of the direction of your music.
The connotations are thankfully well founded, as Vulvodynia describe themselves as a “South African Slam Death Bulldozer”, and have thus far produced three full-length albums. Having gradually gained notoriety globally, now they seek to further expand their horizons in their fourth LP, ‘Mob Justice’.
Opening proceedings, ‘Feast’ is a plethora of animal noises and synths that could be likened to Mudvayne‘s own ‘Monolith’; cracking teeth on bones and demonic overtones, it’s a foreboding introduction. Spiralling the spectre of aggression, the title-track follows, and riles in slamming confrontational riffs from Luke Haarhoff and Kris Xenopoulos that keep the ante up to a maximum in a constant tirade of speed thrash and stop-start rhythms.
Grinding the metallic gears of industry, ‘Blood Diamond’ starts off in a dissonant and off-kilter rapid fire of riffs and harmonics that are backed with rhythms from Thomas Hughes, who expertly traverses between the rapid time changes and Gatling gun kick pedals.
Silencing the war zone for a brief respite, ‘Echoes Of The Motherland’ starts off in an operatic symphony of strings and choirs that’s tainted by the ominous sounds of distant voices before being cast asunder by thrashing guitar riffs and wailing solos. While this still retains the core essence of the band, it’s a dexterous and pleasant instrumental break from the terrorising ménage displayed thus far in the album.
Recapturing reality, ‘Nyaope’ tells the conditions of the current drug plight in South Africa, where concoctions of heroin and anti-retro-viral (used to treat HIV) medication are produced and smoked with cannabis. Told through the retching voices and guttural screams of Duncan Bentley, it effectively conveys the horrid conditions and torment suffered by those hooked on the substance.
Ratcheted up to maximum from the beginning, the intensity in ‘Mob Justice’ is hard to ignore. Bouncing between tyrannical speeds and head banging slams, it’s a terrifying yet thrilling experience of extreme metal.