Well, I guess it had to happen eventually. Ancient Vvsidom has gone full-on electric. It seems to be the inevitable outcome of every project that starts out as an all-acoustic affair. Is it a feeling of inadequacy, or perhaps vulnerability, in the live setting? Peer pressure? Fan request? Boredom? Musical evolution? Who knows? Who cares? If I seem bummed about it, I’m really not. And if you can admit to enjoying a touch of silk and satin with your Satan, you shouldn’t be either. On Sacrificial, AVV makes the transition quite seamlessly. After all, it’s not like this was ever just a guy on a stool with an acoustic and one of those Bob Dylan harmonica setups. [As a side note, why aren’t cellular providers selling those things for smart phones? All a human being exists for anymore is to stare endlessly into some device. Why not free all these idle hands?] This has been a full band from the start, with percussive and electric elements to enhance the acoustic guitar-centered approach. But now that center is a distorted guitar with traditional drumming, and that’s really all that’s changed for these Pop-flirty pagans. When it comes down to it, all that really matters is Nathan Opposition’s voice, and he sounds terrific as always here. (I’ve been told he can’t pull it off live, but I honestly don’t give a shit. Live is for the living, and I’ve been dead forever.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this guy could be doing something far more commercially viable than writing love songs for Lucifer if he chose to. He’s got an all-pro Alt/Indie Rock voice to call on at will. However, I for one am more than pleased to have him on the dark side. On the chorus of album opener “Chaos Will Reign,” it occurs to me that this is a voice I truly miss when I haven’t listened to it in a while. The heavy guitars might even serve to give that voice additional weight. Though I must admit, the playing is a tad sketchy at times (particularly on heavily palm-muted rhythm figures), and the actual timing at certain points seems to be off (see, “Worm Ridden Skull” among others). Luckily, Opposition is always there to save the day. Rain or shine, he is here to do the Devil’s work. Just listen to… um… “The Devil’s Work.” Just about every song here —save for maybe the somewhat pointless intro/outro bookends— is a keeper, warts and all. The band may owe partial songwriting credit to Nine Inch Nails for the beginning of “Blind Leading the Blind,” but that’s hardly a complaint. If you like good singers singing Satanic lyrics, then you probably already like this.
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