This “Self Titled” EP is the first outing for this three piece outfit and is made up of 4 tracks clocking in at 26+ minutes and from front to back. VULPTURE has put together some of the most raucous guitar progressions, thunderous bass lines and hammering drums keeping absolute syncopation in place combined with a vocal split between drummer and guitarist that works pretty well; already demonstrating a flexibility that a lot of their counter-parts do not possess yet. When asked to describe themselves, the collective answer was, Quote “After attempting to play with different musicians, Diego Maud and Vicente met up for practice for the very first time at the end of 2014. After slowly narrowing it down to 5, and then 4, until finally this power-trio locked in and so was the birth of Vulpture, a rock and roll mixture of doom spirit, walking in the desert of stoner, looking towards the heavy psych skies.” Enquote. Referencing those that did not quite make the cut, it has been said that, “On the other side of that universe, the ex members just decided to set up a cheap clothes shop.”
A ‘fitting’ fate seems the obvious response…
Opener ‘Wasteland’ opens with all the ghostly doomish power chords you could want before 30 seconds in, a light hammering tap on a ride and open notes rattling ribs enter before at the minute mark, all three jump in and we’re off for this ride across the aforementioned psych-skies in a 70’s style jam that sets the stage for this record that churns along until the first word hits at 2:49 in with an attention-grabbing snap-vocal, gruff as can be and by the time the last section opens with a screaming solo, it is clear they are firing on ALL cylinders.
‘The Oath’ comes on at a slower pace but twice as thick and even heavier in tone and the swarming bees of staccato guitar notes is mesmerizing leading to the vocal break and the time shifts and fills being held high by the precision bass playing that gives support in spades. This allows the other two members to take this, and really EACH song here, to the highest plateaus of clarity in expression and delivery of their individual parts and the collective result is full-on rock-n-roll purity.
‘Fuzz Cloud’ is even more of the same with an added sneer in the speed and fury that keeps you moving along in pace, even after the two-minute mark when the tempo slows, bass steps to the front over drum fills that are the perfect punctuation before the power chords are back punching the air full of holes, leading the the last section that gets as dark as night and ugly in the best sense of with the meanderings of each member and it is stoner-bliss all the way to the end as they crank it back up to full speed.
Closer ‘Rocky Road’ has this lower tempo opening filled with harmonic bends and swithing to that churning heaviness and back with the underlying rhythm section giving all the room needed to keep your head moving in perfect time before the vocal explodes across the front. Maniacal laughter and all, further proving the versatility of each member. They fit together as so many puzzle pieces and if this is any indication of what we can expect from Vulpture, I can hardly wait for more!! The production is that ‘live in the studio’ feel and is perfect for this serving as it were.
Get it NOW, share it with ALL in your personal realm and go support them live if you are given the chance… keep it LOUD!!
Krista Van Guilder is no stranger to the music scene, formerly providing her talents to Warhorse, Dahlia’s Dead, Lucubro, Obsidian Halo, and most recently, Second Grave. Second Grave put out some amazing music in the form of two EP’s and a full length, Blacken the Sky, which was their final output. Krista states that “it felt like a natural end to the band was surfacing” soon after the release of Blacken the Sky. Krista jumped at the chance to work with Brian Banfield (drums) after he mentioned that he wanted to start a new project. Second Grave bassist, Maureen Murphy, joined in and Benthic Realm was born soon after a few jamming sessions in Krista’s Massachusetts basement.
Benthic Realm is their three track debut. Krista’s vocal range sounding as wonderfully dynamic as ever. Her guitar work encompassing everything a doom heavy inspired hard rock record should sound like. Stripped down melodies and riffs that encircle the very essence of the genre. Murphy and Banfield forming a very competent rhythm section that holds the spirit of the offering together. The first two tracks, ‘Awakening’ and ‘Don’t Fall in Line’, are rooted in real world concerns. Krista mentions that ‘Awakening’ basically “is asking the question: Are we really aware of what is going on, or are we complacent to let others decide our future for us.?” She further elaborates that “Don’t Fall in Line” is “urging people to do something and not expect that everyone else will fight the fight for them.”
Track three is where the benthic realm is explored. It summons subjugating rhythms and melodies from the darkest of the ocean floor. The album cover fitting the theme nicely. Lyrically, this one comes from a more fictitious angle. “The place where serpents dwell takes you down to hell.” One can’t help notice a certain Lovecraft feel to the overall composition. The sheer helplessness of the whole situation that the song conveys makes this a perfect album closer.
Recorded at Mad Oak Studios and produced by Benny Grotto, Benthic Realm is a strong, first introductory effort that shows how doom-centric hard rock should be delivered. A blueprint, if you will, that should be made note of. This small collection of tunes establishes a foundation of what is hopefully just the beginning of many more to come. Benthic Realm is available on Bandcamp, so go snag yourself a copy, you won’t be disappointed.
Necio Records – CD // Kozmik Artifactz – Vinyl // DD
Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Location – Córdoba, Argentina
Band Members – Bass: Juan Pablo Lucco Borlera (Orighen) // Drums: José Landin (S.A.D.E. – Fahrenheit – It Will Be the End) //
Guitar: Mauricio Condon (Pieles)
This first offering from IAH, a three piece outfit brought together, each with a pedigree of previous bands, and they have created something that shines bright from first note to last. Four tracks of instrumental bliss that the band has tagged as a combination of ambient/post-rock/stoner/metal siphoned through an experimental filter. An intriguing descriptor for sure and these are 25 minutes of some of the most coherent meanderings yet to throw those tags together.
Opening track ‘Cabalgan Los Cielos’ (Ride The Skies) has an almost-hidden fade in the beginning three seconds before the band enters with a nice even paced walk of resonating clear notes carried by a lumbering-thick bass line and a cadence from the drum-kit that fits perfectly. By the time the first power chord rings out at 1:40, you are already hooked for the ride and the smile that creeps across your face is one of sonic satiation. The spaced out flow for the duration is seamless from clear notes to distorted screams and back again as you can feel the twists and turns through the atmospheric coursing painted.
The last section shows that they can get as fast and hammering as the next, and are not afraid to do it to the fullest extent possible and then shifting back to that doom-heavy slowness and over-modulated purity of power, a slow-fading digital echo taking us into ‘Ouroboros’ with an almost spaghetti-western tone and progression. Taps of cymbal ringing softly until another hit of snare and we’re off for the next round of instrumental hypnosis that has as many twists and turns and fills that feed off of each time shift effortlessly punctuating that this band as a unit are exactly the same page and give the same 200% lacking with too many.
‘Stolas’ (Clothing) has a nice jazz-tempo beginning, those clear notes with a slight reverb edge tickle your ears as the time signature makes your fingers tap along involuntarily as the sing-song/stop and go tempo becomes your pulse as you move right along with every note, each speaking every word, never said but still heard. Each member is as solid as stone and flex and flow perfectly, never dropping a second and still maintaining that ‘live-in-the-studio’ feel that lets IAH deliver the goods. Closer ‘Eclipsum’ hits hard and heavy, thick and heavy from the first second and shows even MORE of the syncopational unity these three represent.
This EP had been released in January 2017 and there are two extra tracks available via the band’s bandcamp page. ‘La piedra que sujeta el sol’ (The Stone That Holds The Sun) that listens as the perfect “next song” after the end of ‘Eclipsum’ and is even MORE raw and ‘live’ sounding giving a majesty to their soundscape and when ‘Nuboj’ begins with those harmonic muted tones ringing out followed by the clarity of that sound of brand-new strings permeates the air, you can almost smell the difference and the next seven plus minutes wrap the entire take together with the ultimate mix of heavy and harmonic. Get ALL six of these songs in your library the very second you find them and share out to each person you come in contact with as they NEED to hear this as badly as you do even now and support them live if you get the chance… keep it LOUD!!