People dismiss extreme metal as a wall of indecipherable noise but, to the finely-tuned ear, away from the unrelenting blast-beats and indecipherable vocals, there are bands like The Voynich Code who take the blueprint and twist the whole thing on its head with the kind of musicianship that will leave your average music fan in a jibbering mess.

To say that the band know how to handle their respective instruments(!!) is doing them a massive injustice because, listening to tracks like “Born To Suffer”, the Portugese band play to the kind of level that mere mortals can only dream of reaching. Intricate, ferocious, brutal, the sound crafted by The Voynich Code on Aqua Vitae is a sense-fucking delight. Leaving the competition for dust, the technical level at which this band perform is insane. However, it’s not only the fact that they can perform at this level, its the fact that from the techy onslaught of opener “Aurum” through to the closing mayhem of “The Weight Of A Mortal’s Soul”, they do so at a consistent level. Effortlessly tight, the likes of “Born To Suffer” see The Voynich Code toss out a relentless barrage of jaw-loosening riffs from the incendiary pairing of André Afonso and Vinnie Mallet. Like every other element of Aqua Vitae, whether it be the finger-shredding fretwork or the pinpoint accuracy of the drumming or the guttural, throat-damaging display put on by frontman Nelson Rebelo, there is little you can fault this technically immaculate display on.

Thankfully, The Voynich Code realise that, by relying on the kind of technical wizardry some bands over-utilize, the end result would be too much for some listeners to stomach so break up the insanity with wisely placed instrumental passages. It’s a wise move from the band and shows that, while the ability to shred like a maniac is all well and good, Aqua Vitae has more than enough intelligence to leverage it over the rest of the pack.

Aqua Vitae Track Listing:

01. Aqua Vitae
02. Aurum
03. I, The Weak
04. Flight 19
05. Delusion (ft. Jake Luhrs)
06. Hope I
07. Born To Suffer
08. King For A Day (ft. Andrew Patterson)
09. Behind The Mirror (ft. Ed Garcia)
10. Hope II
11. Immortalis
12. The Weight Of A Mortal’s Soul

Run Time: 48:26
Release Date: 05 May, 2017

Check out the track “Delusion”:

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.