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Album Reviews Beneath the Vault Reviews

Beneath the Vault #8: The Shreddysburg Address

Towards the back of the Vault, just past Reese’s cell, there’s a small staircase that leads to a hidden subterranean chamber where we keep the real underground shit. These are the obscure releases and rare finds that will get you points with the cool kids.

Welcome to Beneath the Vault, a column in which we take a brief look at the many review requests we get from bands that aren’t always fortunate enough to afford a promotional campaign or the backing of a big record label. Whether you like your music like you like your coffee or prefer listening to groovy tunes with headphones and some smoke, we’ve got you covered with these underground treasures. If you’re a band and would like a review or a spot in this column, click here to put in a request.

Slug Salt Lava - Siaynoq - Indy Metal VaultSlug Salt Lava
Released on August 11th, 2018
Genre: Sludge Metal

You really can’t go wrong with a band described as post apocalyptic sludge from Instanbul, Turkey. Sounds pretty cool right? On Siaynoq, the new release from Slug Salt Lava, the songs are constructed incredibly well, making great use of dissonant open melodies with down picked chugging. The first track “Siaynoq” is probably the strongest, but the whole album holds up well. They’re a talented group of a musicians and if this is a hint of what’s in store for us in the future, I’ll keep following them. (Bryan)

Vox Medusae - Potmos Hetoimos - Indy Metal VaultPotmos Hetoimos
Vox Medusae
Released on September 12th, 2018
Genre: Blackened hardcore / Progressive Sludge

I almost left this off because I knew I would have a difficult time putting my thoughts on this album into words. There’s a lot going on with the Baltimore based one-man (mostly) project latest offering. It’s probably the most technical release I’ve covered both musically coupled with the fact that it makes use of instruments somewhat uncommon in this genre like saxophone and synths. Its tough to break into, but give it a couple of listens; it’s worth it. This is also the second release I’ve come across recently that deals with pornography addiction. I guess that’s a thing? (Bryan)

Shadow Dies in Morning Light
Released on June 22nd, 2018
Genre: Doom Metal

It’s not often I come across what I would call a true doom release. Most bands play a hybrid of doom/stoner music coupled with one of the other genres. That’s understandable considering they’ve been done to death a million times over. RIPIS is about as doom as you can get, but they make it sound fresh and new. Plus, I’m always drawn to bands that can create an atmosphere with their music and this album is another perfect example. It plods along with a heaviness that sometimes feels like you’re getting hit in the chest at the start of each measure, but feels comfortably soothing with its more somber passages. Highly recommended for doom fans! (Bryan)

The Orchard Keepers - Stick Face - Indy Metal VaultThe Orchard Keepers
Stick Face
Released on November 18th, 2017
Genre: Punk/Progressive Rock

Progressive punk band The Orchard Keepers are another band that didn’t ask for a review, but it’s my column so whatever. Yeah I know they aren’t metal too, but we like to cover punk occasionally. Mind your own business! Anyway, I had to include it since its got one of the most powerful vocal performances to come out of our state in recent memory. Try not getting hooked by singer/songwriter Ayanna Miller’s bluesy raunchiness. It’s both striking and infectious, and it made a fan out of me within the first minute. The songs are impressively creative as well, with a couple of them reminding me of music from 90s indie rockers Pavement. If you like listening to things with your ears, you can’t go wrong with this one. Hot damn! (Bryan)

Suffering (UK)Suffering
Released on September 1st, 2018
Genre: Black Metal

This is the debut album from this UK black metal band. 11 contains 52 minutes of material, and it’s largely a characterful mix of black metal with some doom and sludge influences. I can also detect a bit of first wave swagger in some of the riffs, which is enjoyable to hear, especially when it’s combined with some of the more sludgy sensibilities the band has. I think that this record is probably at its strongest when the band embrace the slooooow and really emphasise the heaviness. It’s hard to say though, as pretty much all of the different speeds they operate at are quite satisfying. With a singer that can scream with the best of them and a nice underground sludgy production, this is a fine listen. (Nigel)

Mountain of SmokeMountain of Smoke
Gods of Biomechanics
Released on September 1st, 2018
Genre: Sludge Metal

Here we have some very tasty Blade Runner-themed sludge metal. Short and to the point, this is a damn good listen. One of the first things you’ll probably notice about this album is the bass, (there’s no guitars), which is heavy and downright filthy. The band will squash you flat as soon as look at you. There’s more than just outright heaviness on display here though, as the band also have firmly atmospheric streak in their makeup – synths are very well used. This helps to give the album a lot more personality and individuality than if the band had opted for a straight reading of the sludge metal rulebook. In fact, Mountain of Smoke are definitely one of the more individual bands out there when compared to most. They have plenty of good ideas stuffed into these 34 minutes, and they know how to write a rough-but-catchy-and-emotive song. Top stuff from this band! (Nigel)

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Ian Lovdahl September 28, 2018 at 12:24 pm

This feature is so great, I had no idea about Slug Salt Lava and RIPIS. Thanks, guys.

Bryan Coffey October 2, 2018 at 9:01 am

Thanks man! Glad you liked it.


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