Tuesday 12 April 2016

Vehement - Collapse


1. Hollow Empire
2. Aasvogel
3. Collapse Pt.1 - Carrion Rule
4. Collapse Pt.2 - Oceans Of Rot
5. Absolute Nothing

Live At Doomsday Fest 2015 (cd bonus tracks):

6. Tidal Verse
7. Oceans Of Rot
8. Far Below Us

Eastbourne is a seaside town synonymous with elderly coach parties and typical British summer holidays. According to Metal Archives, Vehement is the only extreme metal band to call it home. Following their formation in 2005 they released two demos titled "The Inception" and "The Misanthropic Collective" (in 2007 and 2008 respectively). A five year gap followed before the digital release of debut full-length Collapse, which was subsequently picked up for a limited cd release last year via new black metal label Blackwood Productions. They ended last year on high by playing with the might Endstille and this year looks to be just as good, with an appearance at Mammothfest alongside Textures and Eastern Front already booked in. The limited cd version also included three live bonus tracks taken from Vehement's appearance at 2015's Doomsday Fest.

Vehement does not mess about! As soon as you press play on Collapse, Hollow Empire flies out at you with some force. It’s groove-laden black metal is interspersed with blasting sections that try and catch you off guard. The guitars give off a subtle symphonic texture that’s akin to Dimmu Borgir during their later albums, which is pleasingly good. They have an ear for temperate instrumental sections too, as the mid-way point in Hollow Empire attests. Vehement likes to play longer songs and that fits their sound. Their black metal is both majestic and engaging. Things get even better on Aasvogel thanks to some properly epic lead guitar work. Its’s amazing how music like this can help you forget all of the shit that surrounds you but I found myself head-banging to this song feverishly. The cool thing about Vehement is that they aren’t pretentious or overly-proggy (that’s probably two ways of saying the same thing but who cares!) and they’re bloody listenable. Collapse Pt.1 - Carrion Rule begins with an icy blast that continues for an inhumane amount of time. Andras is either a superhuman drummer or just has amazing stamina. Towards the latter half of the song there is a mere hint of black n roll but it soon gets usurped by more quality lead work. Also, I’ve just noticed that Collapse Pt.1 and Pt.2 are the same length, at least according to iTunes!  Collapse Pt.2 - Oceans Of Rot simply follows on immediately after Pt.1. I think it’s a great way to continue an albums momentum and I wonder why more bands don’t do the same thing. I hate pointless pauses, what can I say. Oceans Of Rot begins with a slower intro section and even some Akercocke-like clean vocals. It later descends into another truly orchestral black metal hymn and one that buries itself deep within your head. The final track proper on Collapse is Absolute Nothing, which thankfully isn’t the ambient field recording I thought it was gonna be. Instead it’s a relatively urgent (for Vehement anyway) blackened tome. What follows are a trio of live songs taken from the band’s performance during 2015’s Doomsday Festival. Live recordings are never gonna sound as engaging as their studio recorded counterparts but they do serve a purpose. Tidal Verse illustrates Vehement’s live sound and energy. They manage to capture their engaging sound really well. It’s a long eleven+ minute crawl through the depths but it’s still mesmerising. They follow it up with Oceans Of Rot, which sounds just as heavy as it did on the cd. Its at this point that you realise just how powerful it is. The trio finishes with Far Below Us, which alongside Tidal Verse must be a new song, as it didn’t appear on any of their previous releases. It rounds out a brilliant record, with plenty of hooks and substance (which isn’t what you’d usually say about a black metal record). I must call out Blackwood Productions for having a bloody decent ear and to Vehement for truly surprising me.

You can stream Collapse below:-

You can buy cd copies directly from Vehement here - http://vehement.bigcartel.com/product/collapse-cd and from Blackwood Productions here - http://blackwoodproductions.bigcartel.com/product/bw-003-vehement-collapse-limited-cd.

Vehement Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/officialvehement/
Blackwood Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/blackwoodproductionsuk

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