Vipassi // Lightless // Album Review


When a band boasts a collection of members from other bands such as Virvum, Ne Obliviscaris, Hadal Maw and Black Lava – you should know that this instrumental outfit is going to melt faces whilst bending minds.

Having taken their name from the twenty-second of the twenty-eight Buddhas and also blending influences from across the globe – including Australia, France and the UK, this Vipassi album is the follow to the 2017 debut Sunyata and begins to focus on the clash of light and dark. More than that though the band pushes the boundaries even further.

The 8-track album spans just over 50 minutes and it’s important to make one thing clear from the get-go, whilst this is an instrumental album – you certainly do not feel like anything is missing.

Having grown from the original duo of Daniel Presland (drums) and Ben Boyle (guitars) way back in 2007, to the outfit they are now with Arran McSporran (fretless bass) and Benjamin Baret (guitar) – this allowed for an increase in the dimensions that could be explored and the musical rules that you could be broken.

Opening with the title track, you will swiftly be catapulted into a Blackened Metal meets Experimental, Progressive and Technical Metal. With each aspect being a top drawer, you will be so focused on what is going on, that you won’t miss vocals nor try and figure out what you will hear next.

As the chaotic strings meet the blistering drums, you have little option but to sit back and just let your brain try to take it all in. There are so many layers to this music, it is beyond belief.

If your maths level is above new you will have noticed that the average length of track is over 5 minutes, so there is scope for each track to wander into whatever realm it wants and that’s exactly what Vipassi do.

As the album progresses, you will be taken to places of the musical spectrum you never knew existed, let alone have been taken to before. Because each of the contributors is so good, Lightless certainly doesn’t lack anything. The way the tracks have been constructed is a wonder in itself as the instruments and timing structures jump around as swiftly as the fingers move on the fretless bass.

Lightless is a musical wonder that must be heard to be believed. I would urge anyone to give it a few spins, at least enough to let your brain stop questioning what’s going on and when the confusion has gone – you will appreciate just how good this is.

Lightless will be released Friday, January 26th 2024 via Season of Mist Records.

Ed Ford




  1. Lightless                                  5:07
  2. Labyrinthine Hex                      7:11
    3. Morningstar                              6:57
    4. Shapshu                                  4:23
    5. Phainesthai                              5:49
    6. Ruination Glow                        6:05
    7. Neon Rain                                3:59
    8. Promethea                              10:42
    Total:                                          50:13


Daniel Presland                          Drums
Ben Boyle                                   Guitars & Synths
Arran McSporran                        Fretless Bass
Benjamin Baret                          Guitar Solos

Recording Studio
Bushido Studios, Melbourne, Australia with additional recording in Gandia, Spain & Bordeaux, France

Sound Engineer
Troy Mccosker

Mixing & Mastering Engineer
Mark Lewis

Cover Art
Art made by Xenoyr (
Layout by Jeff Daniels

Sébastien Gamez


Apple Music:

Management & Booking Contact:
Daniel Presland:

Available Formats:
CD Digipak
Digital Download
12″ Vinyl Gatefold – Black
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Black & White Splatters