So how are you feeling at the end of the week? Miserable? It’s OK. It might be Friday and all, but we wouldn’t enjoy this day and the week’s end nearly as much as we do if we didn’t need it to get a huge gasp of air and recharge our batteries. That means somewhere along the line you probably had some pretty shitty moments over the week, and that left you feeling a little irritated.
I’ve said this before, but whenever I’ve had a miserable week, it’s nice to have a heaving, furious, pissy slab of evil death metal that matches the soot collecting in you and choking out your will to live. I can’t say for certain if I’ll be feeling that way on this day as I’m coming to you from the past (uh, meaning I wrote this earlier in the week), but even if I’m not, I still like to revel in some ugliness and madness now and again. That’s the cathartic thing about doom and death metal is that they stand as examples of something more gut wrenched, angry, and diseased than you are.
If you are in the need of something to help you cope, might I recommend The Vein, a new Danish doom-smeared, blackened, death-fuming band that’s coming at you with their new compilation release “Scouring the Wreckage of Time,” a beastly, six-track effort that combines their dual EPs “Chapter I: The Poison Chalice” and “Chapter II: Born Into Grey Domains.” This 46-minute album is mean and nasty, sounding like a perfect amalgamation of early ’90s death and doom metal, and their brand of punishment is bound to leave you dizzy and disoriented.
Shadow King is exposing this hellish band to the world, and they’ve been instrumental in furthering some of the band members’ other venture, namely the awesome Altar of Oblivion. Guitarist Martin Meyer Mendelssohn Sparvath, bassist C. Nørgaard, and drummer Thomas Wesley Antonsen make up 3/5 of that band, and in The Vein, they are joined by vocalist JBP, who also plies his trade on Cerekloth, Church Bizarre, and others. They’re an impressive group together, and this first infernal release is a fun but miserable listen that should let you know you’re not alone in the doldrums.
The first four cuts on the record make up the “Poison Chalice” portion of the album, kicking off with “Pale Dawn Rising,” a mauling, depressing dirge that opens with a cryptic quote from the 2007 movie “Sunshine.” The vocals are demonic and painful, the lead guitars sear the flesh, and the band lets the song lurch to a finish. “Seeds of Blasphemy” is growly, muddy doom that trudges in its place and starts to leave bruises. The guitars are cold and dark, the rest of the band hammers away with guts hanging out, and the song ends on a classic death metal-style romp. “Acedia” is an interlude that’s calm, tranquil, and psychedelic, almost as if it’s paying homage to vintage Pink Floyd, leading to the close of the first half with “The Poison Chalice,” a riff-heavy punisher that’s awesome and sweltering.
The two-track “Grey Domains” portion is comprised of a couple of epic tracks, starting with “The Great Deception,” a chugging, faster cut that changes up all that sludgy footwork. JBP’s vocals are deep and gurgly, as he emotes like he’s reading a letter from hell, while the guitars take on a classic metal feel, and the song eventually leads you into a mournful pocket of sounds. Closer “Carving a Labyrinth,” all 14:17 of it, is creepy and eerie, with spooky synth spilling its light over the room, slithering guitar work that gets your shoes caught in the muck, and creaky screams that reek of death. There are some tasty traditional doom-style guitar passages, weird, crypt-like speaking, and enough funereal horrors to keep you looking behind your back to make sure no one’s closing in on you.
You can practically lick the decay and disease from these songs, and there is nothing here to make you happy and ready to walk into the sunshine. As we noted, this could be a great record to help you cope with a shitty week where despair and frustration has been at every turn and you just need to hear a hellish voice that understands. The Vein can relate to your madness, and they’re here to make your daydreams all that much bloodier.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vein/189452581105086
To buy the album, go here: http://store.shadowkingdomrecords.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ShadowKingdomRecords?fref=ts