From the cinematic drone that opens the album (calling back to the closing moments of their last release) to the crushing blow that follows with ‘As Fools Ripen’ it is obvious that this band is going to take the listener on a journey. A very dark and angry one.
With effortless transitions between blasts and grind elements to the slower sludgey/post-metal moments, the band cover so much ground with this material that it’s almost an insult to label it as just ‘metal’. It’s clearly well placed in that realm of music but there’s so much more to be heard. Pelagic Rec’s are building a reputation for bringing some more adventurous and flamboyant flavours of heavy music to our ears (Pg Lost, Mono, YLVA etc) and Lo! could not be better placed amongst these ranks.
The metal/thrash pace that kicks things off is as short lived as the riffs that break through. It’s blink-and-you-miss-it stuff. The tonal shift towards the second half of the track establishes a metal-af attack and it’s all over in under 3 minutes. Damn.
‘Glutton’ bears a more post-metal/doom burden and features the most tense bass/drum breakdown under dissonant guitars I’ve heard in so long. Anticipating a lock-in moment with the axes that never comes was as enjoyable a tease as the ending itself. The band move on through a quieter and more solemn melodic passage (a la’ ISIS) before building back up. Fuck that *Mastadon riff at the end…talk about epic. I expect this to utterly destroy rooms when they play it live. (*not really a Mastadon riff but wow!)
‘Locust Christ’ is like a blast of grind that falls over into a decomposing mess of doom. The band rush to the mid way point at break neck speed and then slam the brakes to wind it all back down in under 2 minutes. It’s executed perfectly. Reminds me of Deafhaven but with more variety…and 10 minutes shorter!!!
Watch this heart warming video the band put out to go along with the track. A man and a women get in a car, go for a drive, pull over..start making out and then…
No… what the actual fuck was that? Thanks Lo! I can’t unsee that and it will haunt me for weeks. You give Tool a run for their money with shit like this.
‘Butcher Birds’ is a beast of a track that lays an ominous foundation of doom and discordant progressions, vocals growl and seethe through and whilst one of the slower paced tracks on Vesitgal, carries a huge amount of drama and intensity.
The band have curiously followed it up with an interlude/instrumental piece called ‘Bombadier’ after this mammoth track and reminds me LOTS of something ‘Envy’ would do.
The organ sounds of ‘A Tiger Moths Shadow’ are spooky and dark and surprisingly fitting. You know it wont last long though and surely enough the chugs and sheer metallic hate spill over. It’s great to hear the band bringing so many different idea’s to the table as much as the blast/fast, slow and stop stuff is fun. The songwriting suggest that the band themselves don’t want the listener to get too comfortable or feel safe.
Soncially this is mixed to perfection. You hear everything clearly, despite what may sound more like an avalanche of gain and cymbals at times. The clarity of each snare hit, the tones of the cymbals, all of it cuts and punches through just right.
Bass holds it own surprisingly well too and can be heard amidst the machine gun percussion and walls of guitars. The low mid scoop and tasty use of fuzz give it the right amount of kick to actually supply more than just ‘bass’ but serve as another active component of the band. I’m pointing this out because it happens SO RARELY and I’m a bass player so my ears are always critiquing the absence of the instrument in heavy music.
To sum it all up.. this is intense, well written heavy music that is equal parts disturbing and inspiring. Vocally it’s just brutal. There IS a lyrical theme throughout that ties into some conceptual thing but I don’t have the liner notes/material to comment on it. I just know that when Dillon opens up, it’s like a demon commanding dark forces. Overall a very engaging listen and a brilliantly mixed album.
Highly recommended for fans of Converge, Mastadon, Envy, Deafhaven, YLVA, Departe’