Released: 2014, Century Media
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos
Unfortunately there are a few active bands (even new-born bands) that can really touch me and impress me. With their debut title album, VAMPIRE, Vampire delivers a ferocious affront to primal/savage/edgy death metal form and structure, combining his otherworldly strain of sweeping and all-embracing N.O.W.B.H.M.-infused metal with bursts of intense Celtic Frost-ed chaos, waves of nebulous production and spastic rhythmic violence that, at times, feels more like something you'd hear off of a Planet Mu 12", at times resembling some twisted nightmare version of sodomised riffage, or vintage 16-bit game soundtracks being fused to the gristle and graveyard stink of second wave black metal.
VAMPIRE is an instrumentally dense, methodically precise, conceptually captivating and physically challenging listening excursion that commands its listener's attention. The best way to characterize this album is: labyrinth of destructive percussion and frenzied guitar-work that build in collaboration to monstrous heights of hyper-blasting, ever-shifting insanity. Early death metal that Morbid Angel wish they had written for their ‘Blessed Are the Sick’, Celtic Frost would have been influenced by that album if it was been released in 1985 and possibly that album would have been a great guidebook for Sodom’s PERSECUTION MANIA.
VAMPIRE is an album by a band without the math and the glossiness in exchange for a much more direct and deadly approach. There aren’t any blastbeats or hyper-speed rhythms or tunes. It’s similar to the forenamed albums and a blend of early Slayer sound, Venom’s evil and Celtic Frost’s affect. And all this through a N.W.O.B.H.M. prism. The production has shifted around in favor of an increasingly tightened approach that serves the material just fine. Songs like ‘Bestial Abyss’, ‘Orexis’, ‘Howl From The Coffin’ can make you mad and tell this: ‘Oh yeah! There is primal extreme metal’.
Vampire’s aggressiveness rounded out with a heavy dose of drawn-out atmosphere, oddball riffs, genuinely psychedelic and trance-like moments, and a chaotic nature rooted in the shifting between these different sounds that makes the music a uniquely unhinged, unpredictable experience.
VAMPIRE seethes with a deliriously demonic atmosphere entirely its own.