Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Vantablack Warship - Vantablack Warship

Record Label: Self-release

I remember going circuses as a kid enjoying the animals doing tricks, laughing at the clowns and being enthralled by the gymnastics of the trapeze artists and the tightrope workers. The tightrope walkers especially captured my attention as somebody who absolutely hates looking down from heights. I've always started shaking when I'm on the third floor of a shopping mall if I can see below. The enthrallment is similar for music, when bands straddle the tightrope between genres it's fascinating and attention grabbing. Vantablack Warship straddle the tightrope between hardcore and metal.

You might be asking yourself, which kind of metal do these genre-benders straddle? On "Another Dead Rockstar", it's black metal but there's an undeniable modern hardcore edge. On "Black Tongue Bertha", it's groove metal and I'd guess that a few members of this band own both Pantera T-shirts and albums. The vocals are spat out Phil Anselmo style. "Blood on the Mat" is Pantera wrestling with Converge. Kneel and pray you don't get hurt as a mere spectator. Towards the end of the song when a more standard rock beat is set down, the vocals move in the puking and growling direction of Blaine from The Accused.

Is death metal groove a thing or groove death metal? Because that's the twisted direction that "Kill this Kid" takes. It's slow but there's a metallic edge and a grooving underbelly. There's a little of nineties noise rock twisted in their mixture too. Amphetamine Records fans should be all over this track. There's a clear Slayer influence on the riffing on "Ruderalis" although the vocals lean towards blackened hardcore. "Abrasive Pulmonic Speak" sounds like Helmet jamming with Slayer. The chorus to "Crisis" is oddly reminiscent of "Stay Hungry" period Twisted Sister but the tune is a lot heavier and sludgier than anything Dee Snider's crew did in the eighties.

On surface level, Vantablack Warship come across as a metallic hardcore but scratching below the murky surface, the band are integrating nineties noise rock and black metal. If you wanted to hear any of the bands mentioned in this review take on a more experimental edge then I'd recommend checking this album out. With the eight song on full album clocking in at under thirty minutes, Vantablack Warship, thankfully don't wear out their welcome. In this day and age of over sixty minute albums and even songs, brevity is warmly welcomed.


Release Date: 26 January 2018

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