Gird up your loins, take a deep breath, and meet Vovkulaka – the industrial occult metal band from Odessa, Ukraine.
The band’s singer-songwriter-drummer VolK explains, “We’re not Satanists—we’re a metal band—but I have a cred. I investigate haunted places all over the world and invite the evil in.”
Made up of VolK (whose name means werewolf in Russian), Naya G and JuleZ (dancers, percussionists), and Ivan Manoloff (7-string guitar), Vovkulaka (Ukranian for werewolf) formed in 2014. The band’s genesis occurred when VolK’s mystical predilection urged him to explore a 16th century fort, where dreadful tortures took place, and remains haunted by the spirit of a Polish princess who died at the fort. While wandering the fort, VolK experienced a musical epiphany saturated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Inspired, VolK began writing occult-laced malignant metal. Once back in the U.S., VolK hooked up with producer Darian Rundall and guitarist Stone of Contortion.
Later, he conjured up Vovkulaka, declaring, “I have cut off all ties with everyone, quit everything, and sold all of my possessions to dedicate myself to Vovkulaka. This is my everything.”
The band’s fiercely visceral sound amalgamates elements of dubstep, Goth-rock, industrial, thrash, metalcore, and nu-metal, resulting in comparisons to Slipknot, Korn, and Pantera.
Since VolK is the principal songwriter, Vovkulaka’s lyrics provide shelter for such topics as paranormal experiences, toxic relationships, ghost hunting, inner demons, and destructive inner voices.
Vovkulaka ruptured forth with the release of their debut single, “Glory to the Heroes,” a ferociously swaggering nu-metal canticle, featuring guitarist Keith Lynch. Dedicated to Ukrainian soldier Nadiya Savchenko, who was imprisoned in Russia and later released, the song was followed by Vovkulaka’s metal version of the “Ukrainian National Anthem.”
Four-tracks inform the EP, beginning with “My Devil,” opening on stridently gleaming synths flowing into a Slipknot-like muscular metal tune propelled by grinding, growling guitar riffs atop Jovian drums and dark throbbing bassline. DJ Gigantor delivers a keening dubstep solo, infusing the lyrics with blistering timbres.
“Darkness Calling” rides cutting industrial tones accented by dubstep pulses, as Thor-like drums pummel the atmosphere. VolK’s hoarse, grating voice imbues the lyrics with chaffing metallic textures, giving the lyrics a powerfully discordant push.
“Purple Door” opens on the murmuring voices of Naya G and JuleZ, and then slides into a heft industrial metal melody full of fulminating guitars buttressed by the harsh brio of a piano and sepulchral rhythmic pulses from the bowels of hell. The sheer sonic force of the harmonics pulverizes with wicked unrelenting intensity.
“Defy (Radio Edit)” kicks off on seething actinic tones, rife with glowering energy, followed by straight-from-Tartarus snarling guitars. When the hammering, vibrating rhythm enters, the harmonics exude a powerful psychic aura of lethal cavernous colors and palpitating surges.
Vovkulaka is dialed in to the dynasphere, pushing out thick viscous resonance full of scorching oomph and brawny momentum. This band has it going on!