ALBUM REVIEW: Vulvodynia – Praenuntius Infiniti

There is a powerful being that has arrived with one goal in mind: wreak havoc over everyone and everything until existence itself is all but wiped out. But it’s not a pandemic, it’s Praenuntius. The South-African six-piece Vulvodynia is responsible for this entity, and they’ve told its story via Praenuntius Infiniti (Unique Leader Records) in the form of crushing Deathcore and downright nightmarish lyrics.

And it doesn’t take long to materialize with ‘The Shadowy Descent Of Gaia’ setting the stage by way of speedy, Whitechapel-esque vocals coupled with an ominous, whispered bridge.

“He will devour every last morsel in the Universe, Until there is not an atom left, Everything will reside in his belly,” bellows frontman Duncan Bentley on ‘Eternal Wasteland Of Galaxies.’ The band’s fourth full-length thrusts the listener into a world of apocalyptic agony and Bentley’s grunted laughter adds a sadistic touch, putting blood-stained icing on the cake of hell.

In a quite apt commentary on society as a whole, ‘Praenuntius Ascends’ posits, “We run around like gluttonous cattle oblivious to the fact our death is imminent.” But death is on a scale astronomically (literally) greater than first feared. A shape-shifting terror is on a destructive path.

‘Banquet of Enigmatic Horrors, Pt. 1 – Terror’ features an alien-like melody sneaking its way in (radio signals?) and a metaphorical feast on humanity’s psyche is in full swing. The second part – ‘Agony’ – morphs the inconvenience of rain into a hellish deluge: “A billion alien eggs awake and break out of their shells in mid air.”

Don’t worry … it gets worse.

Following an instrumental, the second half of the album and story resumes. Humanity – and even the Ancient deities of the Annunaki – rebel, knowing full well it’s like bringing a knife to a galactic gorefest.

The ‘Ravenous Revolution’ is upon us. Other worlds unite in a common need to take down Praenuntius. Bentley implores the by-now-haunted audience, “Suicide through revolution, A better fate than death by torture.”

Instead of a knife, the god-mortal alliance uses Praenuntius’ own weapon against him. The Annunaki uses his gold to forge a weapon that, “Will be impossible for him to escape.”

As the album concludes with ‘Funeral Ov the Gods’ and the epic finisher ‘Deicidal Finality,’ humanity’s outcome is clear. Fittingly, the aforementioned ending features a subtle symphonic bed and a magnificent spoken-word outro.

Though devastating, Bentley assures us “This multi-verse shall be reborn.” That’s the best news of all because Vulvodynia crafted a stellar album that made this ongoing pandemic feel like a minor blip in the history of mankind.


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7 / 10