Album Premiere: Vessel of Light – ‘Last Ride’

Vessel of Light are a doom metal band that sings about true crime because the Christian in their founding duo asked his Satanist counterpart to avoid the devil. If that doesn’t make you intrigued, perhaps you don’t have a soul. With no shortage of inspiration, Vessel of Light have dropped an LP annually since their 2017 formation and eponymous EP. That makes Last Ride their third full-length and fourth release overall, and you can listen to it early exclusively below.

Nathan Opposition (the Satanist) recalls listening to the likes of Sleep, Electric Wizard and Eyehategod growing up. Indeed, all those acts shine through here, as well as even more classic fare such as Black Sabbath and Candlemass. It’s a far cry from the thrashing sound that made bandmate Dan Lorenzo a household name in Hades. That band name makes his religious transformation hit extra hard, but the feeling remains the same as when he released the first of 19 albums he’s put out thus far. He recalls opening for Slayer the night before Hades’ Resisting Success dropped in 1987,

“On the way home we heard one of our songs on a major radio station. I KNEW we were going to be ‘rich and famous’ like our labelmates Exodus! [laughs] You’d think I’d learn, but I am so fucking excited about Vessel of Light’s Last Ride. Even though not a lot of people pay for music anymore and half the country are afraid to leave their homes, I STILL feel like if enough people took the time to listen to a couple of our songs a few times— well, let’s just say I’m as excited today as I was in 1987. Last Ride is really heavy, yet really catchy. I love doom metal, but I have a child’s attention span, so there are no long meandering songs.”

Opposition may not have released as many LPs in his lifetime, but he feels similarly enthusiastic.

Last Ride is a banger of an album! Hit after hit, jam after jam, riff after riff, it’s definitely our most comprehensive performance to date. We haven’t been a band for long, but it feels and sounds like we’ve been together forever; everything really makes sense. The band’s sound combined with my grim storytelling makes for a terrifyingly good time!”

Despite the horrific content, Vessel of Light DO have a hopeful message that the divided world could learn from. Their ability to function despite drastically different comes down to the fact they focus on commonalities.

“We can have a difference of opinion or ideal and still be friends as long as you don’t cross certain guidelines of convictions that I have,” highlights Opposition, whose chosen surname is particularly amusing in this context. “Friends don’t have to be clones of each other to get along. We are all individuals, that’s what this music scene is all about.”

Fortunately, we can all agree on the riffs on Last Ride, which you can jam below.

Vessel Of Light Last Ride by Vessel of Light

Vessel of Light’s Last Ride is out tomorrow, October 23, on Nomad Eel Records. Pre-order it on CD, cassette or digital. The band also has made-to-order merch.

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Track Premiere: Houkago Grind Time – “Hey Toshino Kyouko”

Houkago Grind Time eschews goregrind’s lyrical gore, slaughtering only in sound. The one-man band from Ripped to ShredsAndrew Lee may SOUND like Carcass, Regurgitate and Mortician, but the only thing he’s dissecting is anime. We’re not talking the violent type, either. The titular character of “Hey Toshino Kyouko” comes from Yuri Yuri, while Lee claims K-On as another inspiration.

Both series focus on friendship over fury, which actually kind of translates to the album as a whole. Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) features guest solos from Leon del Muerte (Impaled, Murder Construct, ex-Nails, ex-Exhumed) and Dave Callier (P.L.F.), plus guest vocals from other pals. This song, however, is all Lee. At one point the vocals approach THAT Jim Carrey Napalm Death interview, which is actually high praise.

It’s one minute of pure adrenaline, like the best grindcore often is. In fact, it might take you about the runtime of the song to read Lee’s explanation of the project. And seriously, someone call up Carcass.

“I like blast beats and slice-of-life moe anime a lot, so I wanted to combine two of my favorite things into one song. I also love shred solos and very few gore/grind musicians put shred solos in their music, so I play a ton of shred solos all over the album and got a couple of my favorite grind musicians to contribute solos as well. If anyone could kindly pass my number onto Bill Steer and have him drop me a call I’d love to get him for another HGT release some time!”

Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) by Houkago Grind Time

Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) is out Nov. 13 on Outrageous Weeb Power Productions (US), Grindfather Productions (UK) and Psychocontrol Recs (CZ). Pre-order it on vinyl or digital download.

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Track Premiere: Bather – “Her Black Wings” (Danzig Cover)

Bather underline Danzig’s infernal influence with their cover of “Her Black Wings,” a far cry from their usual sound. The Central Ohioans usually together many form of extreme metal: death, black, sludge and even hardcore, which Danzig is not. However, despite that gulf, they kept it pretty faithful for the Danzig II: Lucifuge classic.

Sure, it’s a little lower and slower than the original, but the spirit is there. The cover really highlights a new side of vocalist Josh Richter, who can croon as well as he can scream. His voice doesn’t have quite the pronounced personality of Danzig’s Elvis-esque emoting, but the dour delivery adds another flavor. The band’s decision to not shoehorn in a breakdown to fit their style extends immersio and shows respect to the work.

The cover came after they finished recording Phantom Guilt, their forthcoming November release, yet were stuck at home thanks to the pandemic. They decided on this song “due to its heavy guitar work and lyrical power,” which are two claims we could never dispute.

Bather’s Phantom Guilt drops next month. For now, check out their eponymous EP on Bandcamp.

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Full EP Stream: Corpse Pile – ‘Corpse Pile’ Demo

Corpse Pile is one of the hardest band names in recent memory, so it tracks that their self-imposed genre is similarly intense: “Fuck your life death metal.” You likely have a pretty good idea of the sound based on the name, but it’s cemented upon hitting play.

The snare has that brutal death metal pop, and the chugging slams would make Dying Fetus proud. Being from Maryland, that band is a bit out of reach geographically but musically sums up the main influences: NYDM, JPDM and TXDM. (Corpse Pile hail from the latter, Houston to be exact.) That scene triumvirate is a holy trinity of brutal death, but vocalist Jason Frazier gets even more specific on location.

“The only way I can describe ‘fuck your life death metal’ is death metal that straight up just makes you want to act a fool at your favorite local dive bar.”

Indeed, the subgenre has no doubt spent man a night in such beer-soaked holes in the wall. Hell, the acting a fool part of the equation may have even added a few more holes in the wall.

The two-song demo maintains that feel, as it was self-recorded in basically one-take live to keep it raw. It was mixed and mastered by Hunter Young at Florida’s The Swamp Sound.

Perhaps somewhat paradoxically given the music and titles (“Beaten Into a Seizure” and “Every Dog Gets Put Down”), the trio claim pop as the main inspiration; death metal is just the execution.

And execute it does. Jam the demo in the player below.

Order the Corpse Pile demo on cassette or digital on Bandcamp. There are also T-shirts and longsleeves.

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Track Premiere: Corrupt Moral Altar – “You Smell Expensive”

Corrupt Moral Altar feature Napalm Death live guitarist John Cooke, and the similarities don’t end there. No, that’s not to say they’re a clone of their British brethren. Rather than musical mimicry, these progenies adopted a similar attitude, planting their flag beside their predecessors in the grindcore bedrock — and have spent their career cracking it open and letting the lava spew forth. “You Smell Expensive” is the latest such concoction and comes from upcoming EP Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things.

The viscous sludge is laden with death metal (after all, lava would kill you), but its movement is unpredictable. At times it spits and splatters with seemingly no regard for predictability. At others, it flows with the sass emblematic of noise rock, all the way down to the biting lyrics.

Cooke speaks on that intersection of the words and the world within which they reside.

“As the planet feels like it has become more brutal and surreal we offer a song to echo those sentiments: a nightmarish kaleidoscope of media confusion, normal people trying to be kind in a cruel world while fantasizing of its demise and the smell of certain political leaders. Presented for your consideration, ‘You Smell Expensive.’”

Patiently Waiting For Wonderful Things by Corrupt Moral Altar

Pre-order the EP on vinyl, CD or digital download on the APF Records site. Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things is out November 27.

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