Albatross / Vestal Claret (Split) –

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: August 2012
Released: 2012, n/a
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Neil Rego

This is the first time I received a Split EP to review and was keen to delve into a labelled dark gravity. First track ‘Wither’, clocking just over a minute, showcases an eerie feel,with background maniacal laughs and what sounds like a record player scratch.

Second track, “Uncle Sunny at the Tavern”, admittingly is the best track on this EP. Kicking off with a crunchy guitar riff and an accompanying solo lick, the vocalist launches into a credible rendition of “King Diamond-esque”vocal style. The track progresses into familiar progressive territory, a la “Mercyful Fate”. There is a blistering solo section crafted very well.

Third track “Kissing Flies” begins with a lush chord picked and the vocalist sings these memorable lines” Kissing flies, Kissing flies,Come to suck blood from your eyes.”ThereIS A a Nu-Metal vibe as the song launches into its defined riff. The drumming is highly commendable during the entire song; delivering the punches and aptly supporting one half of the dual rhythm attack with the bassist.Once again, the solo really strikes a positive resonance. However, the downer is the vocalist going away from his comfort zone and attempting the “I’m choking Shagrath” style, which gets drowned under the barrage of the instruments.

Fourth track, “From Ashes Comes to Life” is a journey into “Doom Metal” inspired territory. Shades of dark and brooding riffs, lace the patterns. However, once again the songs gets ‘undone’ by the vocals, with a hint of of boredom and bereft of intense color.

The last track on the album, “Black Priest” is performed by US based band Vestal Claret. The song is immensely enveloped with strains of doom metal and atmospheric psychedelic rock. Simplicity and core to the roots is what the song conveys. One can denote the experience this band brings within the songwriting and instrumental layering.

My verdict? Band Albatross are a breed of young guns, reviving the “Horror Metal” genre in India. Their sound is an amalgamation of” Mercyful Fate” meets “The Misfits” and they are on their way to achieve a certain uniqueness. My only qualm with the band is that it appears the vocalist gets overexuberant, when it comes to his range. Definitely, the vocalist has a good vocal range. However, there is lack of focus in the way he should precisely lay his vocals for the song. It’s good to experiment; however staying within his natural tenor range, would be a positive. Falsettos are executed well; however,during several sections of the vocal tracks in the song, it tends to go overboard, coupled with gagging shrieks that are unnecessary.

Band Vestal Claret demonstrated that they already have laid claim to a style, which I believe they are happy to make it evolve on their own.


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Track Listing:
Albatross Lineup

Biprorshee Das – Vocals
Shrikant The Scarecrow -Guitar
Vignesh – Guitar
Jay Thacker – Drums
Riju Dasgupta – Bass

Vestral Claret Lineup

Phil Swanson Vocals
Simon Tuozzoli- Bass, Guitar
Christopher Taylor Beaudette – Drums

01. Albatross – Wither
02. Albatross – Uncle Sunny At The Tavern
03. Albatross – Kissing Flies
04. Albatross – From Ashes Comes Life

05. Vestal Claret – Black Priest