Review: Vaiya - Remnant Light

Originally released in 2014, “Remnant Light” gets a new incarnation this year via Nordvis. This is great, because otherwise I had missed this awesome album. And I’m pretty sure many other people might have missed it as well.

But it would be a pity if “Remnant Light” wouldn’t get more attention. It is a harsh yet beautiful journey, packed with a variety of emotions and tasty musical ingredients. VAIYA serves just three songs, running 13 minutes each, to form this debut. The result is almost 40 minutes of great atmospheric black metal telling an intense emotional story.

Most of the time VAIYA plays with cold riffs, harsh blastbeats and a repetitive momentum. By adding some atmospheric harmonies, Rob Allen, the one and only member of the band, creates some similarities to Cascadian-styled black metal.

Being more than a copy of Wolves In The Throne Room or Felt Voices, Allen adds some very own flavour to his songs. There are many breaks into calmer, dreamy moments, mixing some playful yet melancholic melodies with cleaner vocals into the songs.

Playing with harsh and cold black metal, calm moments and atmospheric melodies, “Remnant Light” keeps developing over its overall playing time. “Confrontation” is the most straight forward song, still involving a dynamic between furious blastbeats and calm moments.

“Banishment” gets a step further, interweaving drony soundscapes into the calmer parts and adding some shoegazing harmonies (or are those keyboards yet?) into the song. Supplemented by awesome clean vocals this track climaxes into a fantastic ending.

But “Transformation” is the most impressive song on “Remnant Light”. In the cold and minimalist beginning majestic harmonies create a beautiful contrast between the harsh blasting thunderstorm and the intense atmosphere. During the following uptempo passage with rolling doublebass some keyboards add another component to form an intense and electrifying final for this album.

The combination of calmer moments and harsh, cold black metal and the consistent development during both each individual track and the whole album create an exciting record with an intense atmosphere. The re-release by Nordvis offers the great opportunity to get hold of this fantastic music. Physical available on both CD and LP in April, “Remnant Light” is already available for streaming and download on the bandcamp profile of VAIYA.