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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Tunisia

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Vielikan biography
VIELIKAN is a Tunesian Progressive Death Metal band around guitarist/vocalist Fedor SOUISSI. The project started in 2002, first under the name DEATH AWAKENING, then ETHEREAL. The band describes their sound as 'quickened by Death Metal spirit yet somewhat tempered by small chunks of a Russian folklore, oriental tzigaginc flesh'.

The band debuted in 2009 with the EP 'Emotional Void', followed by the full-length 'A Trapped Way of Wisdom' in 2010.

Biography by Bonnek

Vielikan official website

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VIELIKAN discography

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VIELIKAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
A Trapped Way of Wisdom

VIELIKAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VIELIKAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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VIELIKAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Emotional Void
4.00 | 1 ratings
Corpses, And Still No Life


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Trapped Way of Wisdom by VIELIKAN album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 2 ratings

A Trapped Way of Wisdom
Vielikan Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'A Trapped Way Of Wisdom' - Vielikan (8/10)

I first experienced the music of Vielikan with their first EP, 'Emotional Void'. Although their talent as a progressive death metal band was clear enough, it was clear that they had much room to grow. Although this is only the debut full-length for this Tunisian act, they have worked up their sound in the years in between this and their early work. Easily drawing comparisons between Opeth or Gojira, Vielikan are a perfect representative for the more extreme side of Tunisian metal.

'A Trapped Way For Wisdom' displays Vielikan performing an atmospheric brand of death metal, similar to Opeth in the sense that ambient melodies are propped up against dark, heavy riffs. Vielikan's 'Emotional Void' was somewhat generic in its approach, but I am hearing a sea of atmosphere that they have since added to their sound. The production favours a 'vast' sound of reverb and background details. Vielikan's lust for atmosphere reminds me of some black metal, although their means are entirely death metal-oriented. The songwriting here tends to gear towards subtle melodies and doomy riffs. However, Vielikan are miles away from traditional 'melodic death metal'. The only time that the melodies are ever thrust upfront is during the cinematic climax of 'A Vertiginous Fall', a song originally from 'Emotional Void' that has been nicely rerecorded for this album.

When the atmospheric death-doom isn't enough, Vielikan occasionally stirs up their sound to become more intense. Here, listeners may find themselves thinking of Gojira, although- as frontman Fedor Souissi aptly puts it in an interview- the way the band merges their sounds and influences together gives them a sound of distinction. Typically, metal bands from the Middle-East, or Arabic cultures work traditional music of their homelands into their music. Tunisia's own Myrath is a grand example of this, but Vielikan are a band that sound as if they could have easily emerged from Europe. 'A Trapped Way Of Wisdom' has plenty of things about it that aren't found in a great deal of modern death metal; atmosphere, organic production, and- most of all- a sense of moderation that only occasionally allows the songwriting to run amok. Opeth fans are the first group I would recommend Vielikan's music for, although these Tunisians present a much darker take on that sound. Only time will tell whether Vielikan receives the attention within the death metal community they deserve.

 Corpses, And Still No Life by VIELIKAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.00 | 1 ratings

Corpses, And Still No Life
Vielikan Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars 'Corpses, And Still No Life' - Vielikan (Single)

Last year, the world stood still as the Arab world split open. Sickened by oppression, the masses stepped up and sought to enact a change against the corrupt governments. Hailing from Tunisia, Vielikan experienced this upheaval first-hand. The flurry of negative emotions brought on by the government were finally allowed to be let loose, and were thus channelled into a single, released in the midst of the revolution. 'Corpses, And Still No Life' is a remarkably angry song, using the harsh death metal sound to convey the emotions of rage and excitement the band members were feeling. Although the track is not much in the way of melody, it manges to convey a thick sense of emotion. Especially brought into context, Vielikan have crafted a powerful piece of music here.

Although there is a slight Opeth-like progressive edge to the music, death metal is far and beyond, the most prominent aspect of the music. Morbid Angel comes to mind when hearing this, although speed is not the aim of this music. The track is focused around crushing heaviness and an 'epic' feeling that doesn't soften the bleak emotions. 'Anger' is the single word that comes to mind when listening to this, really. As far as death metal lyrics go, Vielikan handles the topics with intelligence, but they aren't safe for the playpen. Vocalist Fedor Souissi consistently refers to the government or head of state as 'the maggot', a piece of imagery that is nothing new for death metal, but gets given a bleak, real-world context this time around. Finishing up the song is an outro with an a-cappella passage of solo mosque singing; a very distinctive sound that immediately ties the music to its roots and origins. 'Corpses, And Still No Life' is a powerful piece of music, and while many metal bands may write about revolution, there are few bands that actually live through it.

 Emotional Void by VIELIKAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

Emotional Void
Vielikan Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Emotional Void' - Vielikan (5/10)

Tunisia is not a country known for its metal exports, and perhaps moreso for the wave of political turmoil that swept up through the region earlier in the year. All the same, it is an Arab nation with a greater metal scene than outsiders may first guess, and hearing the band Myrath, I became quite interested to hear what other gems had emerged from this country. Vielikan is a death metal band from Tunisia, and although they have since released a studio album, this was their debut EP that introduced them to the underground. 'Emotional Void' is a three track offering that introduces the listener to the music of this band, although I will say I have only been partially impressed by this piece as a whole. While sections of Vielikan's music are very good, the raw and sometimes unfeeling nature of the music can lead to an uneven experience.

Vielikan plays the sort of death metal that relies more on heaviness and power rather than its technical prowess. With that having been said, don't expect to have your face melted with mind-numbing guitar solos, or anything of a particularly refined nature. Vielikan's 'Emotional Void' plays a somewhat similar style to early Death, albeit with more dissonance in the guitar chords used. The first two tracks revolves much around fairly straightforward death metal that would be completely generic, were it not for some interesting guitar riffs. The recording of this EP gives no implication that Vielikan was trying to make something refined, instead, 'Emotional Void' is very rough, and in a way that's even a good thing. There are no frills here, just fairly standard death metal with an eerie twist.

The third track 'A Vertiginous Fall' gets Vielikan rolling finally, and all in all, it is a great track that outshines the other two tracks beyond any doubt. Here, Vielikan is using melodies and a more epic construct to the way their music sounds, and it really works well; especially towards the last few minutes of the album, I started getting really into what the band was doing here. Sadly, as soon as it starts getting good, it ends, and the listener is left wanting more of the same melancholic death metal that was heard right before the record ends. Vielikan is off to something of a rough start here as is the case with most death metal artists, but there are a few minutes of great music here that rise above the mediocrity, and sets the stage for much better things in their career.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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