It seems crazy that this is the first full-length release for a band as well known in the underground scene as Volniir and one that have been in existence for a number of years now. However, that being said, the old tale of all good things coming to those who wait couldn’t be more fitting right here. ‘All Hope Abandon’ doesn’t just leap out of the blocks – it comes out with the keenest of blades and springs right at your throat.

Anchoring to an aggressive and energetic, but absolutely traditional, black metal sound, they cast their nets wider into a deeper, more spiritually desolate territory and successfully hang in that void occupied by bands such as …and Oceans and Enthroned. From the relentless gale-force opener ‘The Adamantine Gates’ to the abysmally dark and brooding ‘The Depths of Abjection’ and the thunderous blows of my favourite track ‘Wolves Among The Dead’, there is attention to detail here as well as an abundant array of exceptional performances.

‘All Hope Abandon’ (which I have to keep remembering to get right and not resort to the not-so-similarly titled Slipknot album) is a barbaric onslaught of a record. A cataclysmic percussive vortex, razor-sharp, baying guitars and a devastatingly robust vocal execution all combine to create an absolute pearler of a release to kick this sorry old year off. Volniir have waited in the shadows for some years but their moment is now and, boy, their timing has been spot on.


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