Sludge-Infused Black Metal

Sept. 25, 2015


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Listen to Vaee Solis

Mmmmm...Portugal. So much of the black metals. If you are looking for a taste of the harsh and unnatural these days, it may be best to head pretty far south of the original BM beacon. And so it goes with Vaee Solis from Lisban. This is not blackened sludge. It's more like sludge-infused black metal. This is BM raw enough to please most purists, but doomy enough to open to a wider audience. But I doubt the band cares too much about that. Vaee Solis just want to take you to the abyss.

"Saturn's Storm" opens and I'm already drooling. Those bending strings bring to mind Inquisition immediately. There is a certain morbid catchiness to the simple, punishing chord structures. Bassy doom chords are offset by the clang of raw BM treble additions. The main hook in "Adversarial Light" sounds like a foreboding church bell swinging back and forth against a grey sky. And the howls. Oh the howls. So primal. So Tortured.

This is another album that puts me in that 90's grunge trance. Adversarial Light would be equally at home on a playlist with Alice in Chains as with Darkthrone. I love the plodding bass solos that pop up here and there. The rumble is totally insidious. Things only seem to get darker and more abrasive as these sludgy compositions drag us ever forward through the forest.

As the last track takes hold, I think of the slowed down portions of Dillinger Escape Plan. You know the ones. Where it sounds like the musical gears are grinding to a halt on foreign debree. This paired with the excellent drum work makes "Cosmocrat" a worthy conclusion to the slow, purposeful self-destruction. Know what else is great? It's all Name Your Own Price.