A favorite artist of mine, Vajra are back with a new release titled “Irkalla” that is releasing January 15th.
I first learned about Vajra back in 2017 with their release of the video single “The Mirror” which completely captivated all of my senses. The energy and essence in the music, vocals and movement was an experience that is not provided by many bands. Since that I’ve followed the Vajra journey, experienced one of their acoustic gigs and had time to get to know Annamaria Pinna (vocals) and really build a bond with their brand’s unique presence and what they are doing with their music.
Their music is thought provoking, a bit haunting, flowing and even erotic. Once you start listening, it flows through your senses one by one until it has fully penetrated your mind and you give in to the experience. This definitely holds true with the title track “Irkalla” as it starts the journey. But, each track is it’s own experience yet fits perfectly with each that surround it.
There are so many different elements musically on this release that shows the thought and versatility to their style and their willingness to challenge the status quo to what music should be. There’s a darkness that you will feel, but there’s also something very hypnotic about it. You will feel this on “Maya”, which fits the concept that Pinna wants listeners to experience through the levels of consciousness.
In her own words, “Irkalla focuses on the lowest level of consciousness,” Pinna says. “It is the base, material, selfish, ego aspects of ourselves (i.e., the ego-driven, lie, cheat, steal, aspects of the self). It is the place that we must shine a light and acknowledge before we move to the next levels of awareness. Also, I’m obsessed with the Sumerian history right now. I was contemplating Goddess energy, and when and what prompted what I see as an imbalance between the masculine and feminine energies. I was wondering what it really meant to have a God and why it was considered, by some, a ‘He.’ I’m also interested in what is behind the concepts of heaven and hell.”
Along with that concept there are some incredible heavy bass riffs, fluid tempos, and at times progressive guitars. On top of it all are the incredible vocals that bring it all together. There are vulnerabilities that allow listeners to open themselves up to the mood in the music. “Crown or Crucify” is one of these tracks that fully embodies this along with an almost erotic feel that climaxes as the song progresses.
There are also the abnormal elements that listeners would not expect to hear. With tracks “Wavering” and “Wind” where you get an echoing, eerie vibe that feels dark, hallow, haunting, and for me I felt little a scared.
“Irkalla” is a great release, there are larger than life explosions mixed with so many emotion inducing moments that will make you want to move to the music and just let go. I love what they did with this one and look forward to what they do next. Vajra is a rare gem in a large, often hard to navigate musical pool, don’t miss them.
Label: Thunder Cult Records
Genre: Dark Rock
Release Date: January 15, 2021
Rating: 4 of 5
Crown or Crucify
Sever The Tie
Annamaria Pinna (vocals)
Dave Sussman (bass)
Mark Collom (guitar)
Al Javier (guitar)
Jimmy DeMarco (drums/percussion)
Blake Fleming (ex-Mars Volta) played drums on Irkalla
Irkalla was produced by New York native Daniel ‘Sahaj’ Ticotin (Ra, Mötley Crüe).