Vukovar: The Great Immurement
CD | DL
Industrial alternative Goth band unleash their latest album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
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To say Vukovar are back would be a grave error of judgement. They never really seem to be away, releasing albums like shelling peas they have just released their ninth album in seven years. Yet again, the phrase ‘their best album yet’ can be applied to The Great Immurement.
Where their last album, The Colossalist, experimented with noise and field recordings to great effect, the new album sees them develop that further and combine edge with commercialism and yet more impressively written and performed tracks. They continue to plough a lonely furrow – like nothing else out there – sounding like the next incarnation of Joy Division. Perhaps.
Perhaps not. Maybe it’s a lazy comparison but there are undoubtedly hints circulating. At times it’s heavenly as The Solar Anus Pt 2 professes angelic styled background vocals over one some stunning main vocal work and at times it’s hellish as The Immortal Hour takes a dark turn. What is remarkable about Vukovar is their ability to keep producing albums of such high quality. The second in the Eternity Ends Here triptych and acting memorial to Simon Morris who died in January 2020 at the age of 51.
Morris would approve there’s no doubt, as Ceramic Hobs’ three-decade existence as DIY avant-punk leaders influenced many an act, the attitude and determination are shadowed by Vukovar. Morris appears on Cement & Cerement and another Hobs member, Jane Appleby, adds vocals to album closer The Great Immured And His Sea Of Love. The band seem solid on The Great Immurement, less tension and collectively slicker the tracks flow wonderfully from one to the other like a seamless tapestry of optimistic gloom.
Spoken word evolves the album into a mysterious commentary which draws in the listener, picking out those subtle keyboard strokes twinkling in the background on your way to that impending eternity.
Once more Vukovar prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. Whether the masses discover them or not is probably irrelevant. In the here and now, The Great Immurement is an album borne out of turmoil, loss and obsession. Listen at your leisure, miss it at your peril.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.