LA’s Vitskär Süden release their debut album; full of doomy, stoner laden riffs and cosmic revelry.
Released: 22nd May 2020
Label: Self Released
Whatever your preference within progressive music or heavy metal you will find it on this album, from Roger Waters to Ozzy Osborne, from Dave Brock to Peter Gabriel all bases are touched.
Each song is driven by Martin Garner’s powerful, commanding vocals with a blend of doom-ridden themes and cosmic sonic effects.
When choosing to listen to progressive rock or heavy metal I find a specific style often purveys whatever mood you are in but if you are indecisive on which you want to listen to slam on this album and you will find something to your liking and be rewarded with extra styles as well.
In the opener, the dystopian atmosphere is brought sternly to our attention through War Machine Crimson, in which we are given warnings by an immortal , invincible rock-eating character who is ‘a diamond crusher, self made tyrant, beast from the deep,’ amongst other fearful traits.
Other malicious forebodings are bulldozed in through the album creating a remote faraway world of make believe and appalling horror.
Trickle Of The Snail shows our worst fears are on our doorstep, creeping closer. During Dark Passages the turmoil continues; any defence is futile and the music is relentless in creating this ‘infernal world’ with hammering rhythms and melodic guitar work throughout amidst the crashing and wailing.
Slight relief ensues in the dreamy rhythm and synth effects of Painted Faces where we are told of the admiration of someone who brings colour and joy to life, the complete antithesis of the demonic character described in track one. There are also glints of relief in Ice & Haze which has some moments of ease with a sweeter toned chiming guitar .
Heathens sees the guitar rhythms become more chaotic and it returns us to the atmosphere of turmoil and uncertainty until we are brought to the story’s conclusion to the end of conflict in Dawn Of The Monolith. During the ending there is fascinating harmonious interplay between the guitarists Julian Goldberger and TJ Webber who bring their own personal influences to the group. With long term companions, bassist/vocalist Martin Garner and drummer Christopher Martin also combining extremely effectively together throughout the album, Vitskär Süden create their threatening world with heavy pounding rhythms.
The strange make-believe characters and messages depicted on this album are inspired by the likes of writers Robert W. Chambers and Laird Barron, the latter describing them as ‘creeping up on you like those last red moments of sunset before full darkness.’
Vitskär Süden’s debut is a fascinating blend of prog and metal and leaves one yearning for the return of live performances to hear this music in concert setting.
A note of compliment to Samuel Araya too, for the stunning artwork that adorns this album.
Check out the lead track from Vitskär Süden’s album, Trickle Of The Snail.