Back in June, we had the privilege of premiering one of the first songs from California-based one-man vampyric black metal band Akasha‘s debut Consuming the Soul. I also had the chance to chat with Leech, who mentioned that he had a split in the works with ‘True Appalachian Black Metal’ entity Unrest. They must have been further along on it than he let on, because much to my surprise that split, which bares the name Vibrations of Blood and Hate, is coming out this Friday (September 14) on both limited-edition cassette and limited-edition lathe 12″ LP from our friends at Grey Matter Noise Productions (preorder here). And just like with Consuming the Soul, IMV has your first taste of the split here today with our double premiere of Akasha’s “Life Force Control” and Unrest’s “Forlorn.”
In many ways, Leech and Destroyer (the lone individual behind Unrest) make for an especially simpatico pair. When I talked to Leech, he said his purpose with Akasha is to “exact revenge on those who have crossed me and to take full advantage of the weaknesses they have shown me. I believe in mental and spiritual vampyrism […] feeding off of my enemies in order to empower myself and ruin them.” Back in 2015, Destroyer told OccultBlackMetalZine that he approaches Unrest with the mindset that “I’m just a guy who hates the world and everyone/everything in it, and want to scream about it […] I’m part of the problem too and should probably exterminate myself much like the rest of humanity. I have the words ‘I Have Walked Away From The Human Race’ tattooed on me for a reason.”
There’s clearly no shortage of vitriolic misanthropy in the (blackened) hearts of either of these men. From a musical perspective. however, they both bring something slightly different to the split. Akasha’s “Life Force Control” comes charging out of the gate bearing a heavy crust/d-beat influence, clutching a fistful of punked-up metal riffs that occasionally bring to mind a violently hostile Motörhead (as well as providing all the context one needs for his venomous cover of “Ace of Spades” that closes out the Akasha side of the split). Unrest’s “Forlorn,” on the other hand, is lo-fi, primitive, and painful, building in intensity from its ambient noise intro through its frenetic first half, then pulling back out again for its lurching, almost martial-sounding closing section. Both are exhilarating in their own distinct ways, and Vibrations of Blood and Hate as a whole will have you more than ready to track down those who’ve wronged you and leave a trail of destruction in your wake.
Leech of Akasha had this to say about “Life Force Control”:
“Life Force Control” is about the descent into hatred and the souls of those who drive us to this point. It was made to mandate and control their lives. To brainwash and manipulate through the unseen forces of the Universe and to destroy the enemy. It is a refusal of defeat. Gag on the forbidden fruit, accept your fate and consume the life that is necessary to survive.
Unrest’s Destroyer offered these words about his half of Vibrations of Blood and Hate:
The Unrest side of the split deals with the idea of succumbing to self destruction. Recognizing patterns that are self sabotaging or destructive but doing nothing about it because it’s just how you’re wired and nothing will ever change that. Which then leads to hopelessness and then the eventual acceptance of said behaviors to the point that they consume you.
Check out both “Life Force Control” and ‘Forlorn” below, and then make sure to grab a preorder of the split ASAP – I doubt either format will be available for very long.