Consisting of Dan Lorenzo of Hades/Non-Fiction fame on guitar and bass alongside Ancient VVisdom’s Nathan Opposition on vocals and drum duties, Vessel of Light makes for a fascinatingly random pairing though one that proves to be rather compatible. The mellow beginning of “Where My Garden Grows” suggests that the duo’s self-titled EP may be a continuation of the acoustic doom heard from Opposition’s main band. However, the truth is quickly revealed once “Dead Flesh and Bone” comes crashing in.
Seeing how Lorenzo dabbled in the dank side of metal with The Cursed and his solo material, it makes sense for him to try his hand at gothic doom with Vessel of Light. The EP’s six songs show strong influence from groups like Danzig and Type O Negative. The tone is dark, the vocals are a consistently come hither baritone with occasional distortion, the riffs are packed with sleazy grooves, and there’s a gritty urban aesthetic that reminds me of The Bronx Casket Co or A Pale Horse Named Death. I suppose that sort of thing is to be expected with New Yorkers…
The EP’s songwriting places particular emphasis on hooks and shorter song lengths, making this an incredibly breezy listen by gothic doom standards. The lyrics aren’t the deepest subject matter and the structures seem to be the sort that write themselves, but the songs themselves prove to be catchy and pretty fun to listen to. I especially enjoy the heightened melodicism on “Meant to Be” and the Acid Bath-esque riff/chorus work on “Descend into Death” and “Living Dead to the World.”
Vessel of Light’s debut EP is a pretty good first impression and feels like a comfortable collaboration for both of the musicians involved. It’s rather amusing that such a dark style can lead to music that sounds so spontaneous and carefree. The production makes the instrumentation strong and the musicianship suggests the right amounts of hard work and fun behind the scenes. I do wonder how a full lineup on a full album would sound but this EP has some great replay value and makes for a pleasant delivery.
“Meant to Be”
“Descend into Death”
“Living Dead to the World”
Vessel of Light is now available from Argonauta Records.