Saturday, September 19, 2015

Vhol : "Deeper Than Sky"

Their  new album Finds Aesop Dekker of Agalloch going for a more straight forward approach which is what the music calls for.  The vocals took me by surprised until I read it was Mike Scheidt of Yob singing then their soaring nature made more sense . Then in a sudden turn comes the more punk influenced "3 AM" that follows. These guys started off as a Pentagram tribute band, and things have sped up considerably since then. This album does feel more focused than the first right off the bat aside from the jarring stylistic changes between the first two song. The weird effects on Mike's voice work well on the title track which is in your face thrash. The creepy middle section is an excellent addition to the song and rekindles the old school metal feel. You can hear Ian Gillan influence in Scheidt's vocals. At twelve minutes the song covers a lot of ground getting into more serious thrash towards the end. At one point I had to check and make sure we were still on the same song.

Hammers of Misfortune's bassist cuts through the mix this go around and makes her presence known on the instrumental interlude following the title track. "Red Chaos' erupts with more furious thrashing. It is more like the earlier era of thrash than the Bay Era bands, I hear more Sodom and Venom than anything. This races into "Lightless Sun" that finds them tripping over their feet as they try to run down hill. Dekker plays black metal we know he can play fast, but how is the song benefiting from racing into hyper-drive?  They keep their feet on the gas for "the Tomb"  and as a result it feels very similar to the two songs that precede it. Mike keeps his voice at more of a Venom like snarl.

 To call this retro-thrash doesn't seem right as , the only punk cross over moment comes at the second song. These guys have tons of talent and Mike's voice really gives them an edge over the barking dogs that are typical of the genre. They have a few twists and turns amid the full speed ahead attack that seems to be the order of the day on this one.  The riffs at time could have more hook to them, but I can hear where this is coming from, fans of  the Venom era of thrash will be happy to head bang to this, some of the up tempo stuff runs together a little for me so I'll give this one a 7. Profound Lore is releasing the album October 23rd.


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