Vulvodynia – “Entabeni” Album Review: A Bold Cultural Exploration in Deathcore

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Release Date: July 5, 2024 Label: Unique Leader Records

Review By Glen Parkes

South African slamming-deathcore powerhouse Vulvodynia are set to release their highly anticipated album “Entabeni” on July 5th via Unique Leader Records. With this new album, the band ventures into uncharted territory by blending their signature brutal sound with elements of African folklore and Zulu language lyrics. This bold move marks a significant milestone in their career, showcasing their evolution as a band and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the deathcore genre.

Track-by-Track Review:

  1. Imbawula (1:07) The album opens with “Imbawula,” a brief yet grabbing intro that sets the stage for the thematic journey ahead. The track features percussion and atmospheric sounds that create an eerie, suspenseful mood, hinting at the depth to come.
  2. Devil Tree (4:00) “Devil Tree” bursts in with relentless aggression, featuring crushing riffs and guttural vocals. The song’s brutal intensity is juxtaposed with intricate guitar work and rhythmic complexity, embodying the band’s evolved songwriting approach. The lyrics delve into dark African myths, adding a unique narrative layer.
  3. Randlord (4:30) With “Randlord,” Vulvodynia tackles themes of colonial exploitation and its aftermath. The track is a sonic assault with its breakneck pace and blistering breakdowns. The incorporation of historical references within the lyrics gives it a poignant edge, making it one of the standout tracks.
  4. It Follows (4:50) “It Follows” slows down the tempo slightly, creating a brooding and ominous atmosphere. The song’s heavy, sludgy riffs and eerie melodies evoke a sense of impending doom, perfectly aligning with its lyrical exploration of supernatural folklore.
  5. Isandlwana (feat. David Simonich of Signs of The Swarm) (3:25) This track features guest vocals from David Simonich, adding an extra layer of ferocity. “Isandlwana” is a relentless onslaught from start to finish, with its ferocious blast beats and guttural growls. The song references the historic Battle of Isandlwana, blending history with brutal storytelling.
  6. Mamlambo (5:10) “Mamlambo” stands out with its epic length and dynamic composition. The track’s ebb and flow between crushing heaviness and melodic interludes create a captivating listening experience. The lyrics delve into the legend of the Mamlambo, a mythical creature from South African folklore, adding a mystical dimension to the album.
  7. Adamaster (feat. Kyle Medina of Bodysnatcher) (4:25) Featuring Kyle Medina, “Adamaster” is a collaboration that brings raw energy and intensity. The track’s relentless pace and punishing breakdowns make it a mosh pit anthem. The myth of Adamaster, a sea giant from Portuguese literature, is woven into the lyrics, showcasing the band’s diverse cultural references.
  8. Entabeni (feat. Damonteal Harris of Peeling Flesh) (4:26) The title track “Entabeni” is a monumental piece featuring Damonteal Harris. Its complex structure and emotive delivery reflect the album’s overarching theme of initiation and transformation. The song’s powerful message and intricate instrumentation make it a centerpiece of the album.
  9. Mangled and Maimed (4:28) “Mangled and Maimed” returns to a more straightforward deathcore brutality. The song’s relentless aggression and visceral lyrics depict graphic scenes of violence, embodying the raw and unfiltered essence of the genre.
  10. Generational Segregation (4:10) Closing the album is “Generational Segregation,” a track that addresses contemporary issues of division and inequality. The song’s heavy riffs and furious vocals convey a sense of urgency and defiance, making it a powerful conclusion to a groundbreaking album.

Final Thoughts: “Entabeni” is a groundbreaking achievement for Vulvodynia, blending the ferocity of deathcore with the rich tapestry of African folklore and culture. The album’s ambitious concept and execution showcase the band’s growth and their willingness to push the boundaries of their genre. With its blend of brutal intensity and cultural depth, “Entabeni” is poised to make a significant impact on the deathcore scene and beyond.

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