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| 7 January 2021 | Reply

Label: Thunder Cult Records

Release Date: January 15, 2021

Rating: 89%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Vajra – formed and led by Annamaria Pinna – is releasing the first of three opuses to be released in 2021.  The 6-track EP Irkalla expands on the bands foundation that began with 2012’s Pleroma and explores the lowest level of consciousness.  Disc opener and title track “Irkalla” is a cool instrumental piece that sets the proverbial table for what is to come over the next nearly twenty minutes.  The track integrates musical pieces as well as noises and sound.  “Maya” was the first song and video released from the collection and it drew me in sonically and visually immediately.  The guitar work from Mark Collom and Al Javier  is tight and works perfectly with the rhythm section to create a landscape on which Pinna’s vocals traverse.  The tribal rhythm woven into the music keeps the music ebbing and flowing with the emotional delivery of the lyrics.  “Crown Or Crucify” keeps the musical journey intact with a song that blends in perfectly without sounding rehashed or repetitive.  Dave Sussman’s bass work and Blake Fleming’s drumming on this track is the perfect platform for the rest of the instrumentation and Annamaria’s vocals.  The contagious groove of the chorus is fun to listen to and keeps your foot tapping and your head banging.  “Wavering” is an interesting piece that brings to mind different sounds and scapes, as the track is less of a song and more of a mood.  During a recent interview, Pinna referenced her interpretation of the sound of this track bringing to mind the sound of nails being hammered into a coffin… after a few listens through, I get it.  “Sever The Tie,” the second track released in advance of the EP, is a cool track leaning into the tribal groove and allowing Annamaria to really flex her vocal muscles and use her control to tell the story and take us along for the ride.  The accompanying video is a great representation that pairs well with “Maya” and should be come a cool centerpiece for the entire video concept the band is constructing.  Disc closer “Wind” has a repetitious sound that helps carry the track and close out the collection with some heavier and darker tones painted throughout the 2+ minute piece.  With this set complete, I am anxiously awaiting the next set in the series of tracks the band is readying for our consumption.

Tracklisting: Irkalla – Maya – Crown Or Crucify – Wavering – Sever The Tie – Wind

Lineup: Annamaria Pinna (vocals) – Dave Sussman (bass) – Mark Collom (guitar) – Al Javier (guitar) – Blake Fleming (drums / percussion) – Jimmy DeMarco (drums/percussion – did not play on this album)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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