Thursday, 22 May 2014

Constant Vulse - Hedonic Sleepwalkers


I'm jumping back into my physical review pile and pulling out a band that I'm not familiar with, but who's 2012 album was released by German label Wooaaargh Records. Constant Vulse started in late 2011 in Trier, Germany and Hedonic Sleepwalkers was their debut album. Wooaaargh Records have been responsible for some epic grind and powerviolence related releases in the last couple of years, including the Oblivionized/Human Cull Split 7" that I reviewed last year, so I have high hopes for this record. Plus, any band that shares members with a powerviolence band called Cpt.Caveman is a winner in my book.

Tracklist:-

1. Intro - Caught In Crises
2. Stampede of Pledges
3. Oversaturated
4. Trepidators
5. Alpha Male Complex
6. Serpents
7. Feeding The Scam
8. Mediocre Escapists
9. Grand Scheme
10. Regressing Mass
11. Instrumentalized Mental Siege

It’s pretty clear what Constant Vulse are raging against, from the opening sample of Intro/Caught In Crisis. They kick things off with a mid-paced death metal inspired stomp, which mix blastbeats with sludgy riffs and low, growled vox. Things get faster with the sub-one minute Stampede of Pledges, which is goddamn nuts! The grindcore/death metal mix within Constant Vulse’s sound is definitely an appealing feature. Oversaturated even contains subtle elements of thrash and I really dig the drum sound. It’s one of those blink and you’ll miss it songs, which flows straight into Trepidators, which perversely is their longest tome. It’s the song where they hit the death-nail on the head, with added hardcore and mosh! Imagine the type of hardcore/beatdown where the crappy half-rapped vocals are replaced with old-school death screams and you’ve got it.

This was the kind of death metal that I had a mosh too at ‘Kin Hell Fest (which in itself is surprising, as I never mosh for fear of breaking my entire body). That’s how good Alpha Male Complex is. Serpents features the same off-kilter time signatures and short, sharp brutality.  Hedonic Sleepwalkers has a real party feel too it. I’m not sure whether that was intentional, but it seems that Constant Vulse don’t take themselves all that seriously, which is good. I picture them being a bit like Basement Torture Killings, who are hilarious on stage. Feeding The Scam reminds me that death metal can be fun.

Even though I’ve mentioned a few of metal’s sub-genre’s in this review, Constant Vulse are not as easy to pin down as you might think. Mediocre Escapists features more of those ace beatdown riffs from earlier. The transitions during Grand Scheme show that as musicians, Constant Vulse are pretty damn accomplished. The live production job helps heaps too. There’s no blemishes on the record, yet it also doesn’t sound too clean.  Hedonic Sleepwalkers seems to get better towards the end too, with Regressing Mass being one full headband of a song. The madness continues into closing song Instrumentalized Mental Siege. I don’t actually know why they shoved a paused in between the two tracks, because it ruins the momentum slightly. 

Basically, if you like death, grind, hardcore and anything heavy, the chances are you’ll love this. The band are supposed to be writing new material so a new record will be more than welcome to these ears.

You can stream and download Hedonic Sleepwalkers (name-your-price) here:-




You can grab the CD version from Wooaaargh here - http://www.wooaaargh.com.

A tape version was released via Hackebeil Records but that has sold out.

Constant Vulse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ConstantVulse
Wooaaargh Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WOOAAARGH
Hackebeil Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HackebeilRecords

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