Released in early 2012, just a short time before Ordo Dracul,
this split features three songs from the occult Finnish black metal project known as Vampyric Blood. The other band featured
here is inferior and unworthy of mention. Despite such an unwanted presence, this recording is still notable for the contributions
of Lord of Shadows.
The sound is similar to that of the band's debut L.P. in that it possesses
somewhat of a distant and cacophonous sound that might take a few moments to adjust to, much like any old '90s demo tape.
The guitars and vocals are rather raw and harsh, in contrast to the warmth and clarity of the synth parts. Generally, I dislike
keyboards, but I don't mind them if used properly (and sparingly). Overall, the sound here really suits the atmosphere and
style of the material.
The first two Vampyric Blood tracks, utilize fast-paced tremolo riffs,
while still managing to include slower sections within each song, particularly the former. Of the two, "Grim Tyranny" really
seems to stand out and is the most varied track on here. It does well to seamlessly transition between the mid-paced riffs
and the faster guitar melodies, making for a rather engaging song, while never losing the lugubrious aura. However, the third
composition from Lord of Shadows is the best one on here. "In Sorrow & Misery" is an eight-minute dirge that really lives
up to its title. While alternating between open-arpeggios and faster tremolo picking, both the overall melody and drumming
dictate a slower pace. This woeful track reaches right into your chest and takes your weakened heart within its strangling
grip. The style hearkens back to older works from Burzum and Strid, possessing an unquestionably morose atmosphere.
Though Drowning in the Vampyric Sacrament of the Immortals was
limited to 1000 copies, it's probably that one can still track down a copy. Whether or not you are a fan of the other
band on this split, the Vampyric Blood material is well worth hearing, especially "In Sorrow & Misery". This is some of
the best raw and gloomy black metal that I've heard in ages, so it is very much recommended.
(11 Feb. 2017)