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Album Reviews Beneath the Vault Reviews

Beneath the Vault #12: Listen to Them, the Children of the Riff. What Music They Make!

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.


Finis Omnivum - CercleFinis Omnium
Cercle
Released on September 12, 2018
Genre: Black Metal

Finis Omnium play black metal with added elements of crust, sludge, and hardcore, a well as a touch of doom here and there. If you imagine a mix of bands such as Downfall of Gaia, Agrimonia, and Nux Vomica, you should have a decent idea of where to start with Cercle. It’s a release that combines atmospheric muscle and aggressive energy. Crust and hardcore influences feed into the latter, while the former comes courtesy of atmospheric black metal mixed with abrasive sludge. The music is dark and engaging, showing a good understanding of what makes this sort of blackened crusty sludgecore an enjoyable listen. A textured and nicely varied listen, the songwriting is strong, and it sounds as if a lot of time and care has been poured into Cercle. I’m impressed. Make sure you check this release out. (Nigel)

Somn - The All-DevouringSomn
The All-Devouring
Released on January 27, 2019
Genre: Post-Black Metal

This Russian band’s music is dark and intense, blending blackgaze and post-metal into a very satisfying post-blackened beast of expressive shading and emotive delivery. The songs are atmospheric and well-written, providing sprawling tracks of engaging subtle melody and rhythmic blackness. Moments of lighter post-rock introspection and delicacy are given room to flourish here and there before the inevitable intensity of the main blackened core of the band starts up once more. The album boasts a strong recording, allowing the music to breathe into its self-created environments with ease. The All-Devouring is both an enjoyable and rewarding listen.(Nigel)

Dawn of Existence - Pale Mythos - Indy Metal VaultDawn of Existence
Pale Mythos
Released on January 6th, 2019
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

After listening to Pale Mythos a few times, I took another look at their initial review request and found that it’s actually a demo. If this is supposed to be a rough introduction to the band, then they’re off to a fantastic start. This EP is an extremely polished splattering of death, black, and gothic metal reminiscent of the signature Gothenburg sound that erupted from Sweden. It’s also refreshing to hear a metal band that uses keyboards as an independent instrument rather using them as an effect that’s layered in the background. I’d recommend this one to fans of At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, and In Flames. As an added bonus, they’re only charging $3 (use code “MYTHOS”) for their EP this month. Go buy it while it’s still on sale! (Bryan)

War on TV - Don't Talk to Strangers - Indy Metal VaultWar on TV
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Released on December 14th, 2018
Genre: Alternative Rock

Our local music scene continues to surprise me. Case in point: War on TV, an Indianapolis alternative rock band that was not on my radar until recently. Upon first listen to Don’t Talk to Strangers, you’ll probably note influences from bands like the Deftones, Mars Volta, and Incubus. This may either deter or piqué your interest. But no matter, War on TV takes these influences and modernizes them to make them palatable to today’s finicky underground listener by adding a splash of funk, a tight as hell rhythm section, and a strong vocal performance. Highly recommended for fans of late 90s and early 2000s rock and another local band that I desperately need to check out live soon! (Bryan)

The Tunnel - The Blood - Indy Metal VaultThe Tunnel
The Blood
Released on January 15th, 2019
Genre: Post-Punk/Death Rock

The Tunnel offers a sinister helping of death rock that I imagine would make for perfect listening while driving down a desolate and darkened highway. It’s like the rumbling bass and the droning guitar in their latest EP The Blood just oozes black asphalt. All-in-all, It’s a big sound coming out of this three-piece from San Francisco. They also have a dynamic approach to their songwriting that gives their music a cinematic quality making it suitable for a film soundtrack. I’m talking like a David Lynch movie or something like that. My only complaint with their three-song EP is that it’s too short, but they’ve got a pretty large discography to delve into, and I’m betting we’ll see more music from them this year. (Bryan)

Last Rizla
Mount Machine
Release on November 8th, 2018
Genre: Sludge/Noise Rock

Hailing from Athens, Greece, Last Rizla originally started as an instrumental band before adding vocalist Stavros of the sludge outfit Sadhus to the mix. The instrumental foundation still shines through though. The experimental guitar work paired with a solid rhythm foundation is engaging enough to stand on their own, but the addition of Stavros on vocals propels them even further. Their latest EP clock just over 20 minutes making it a short listen, but just like the pre-mentioned band The Tunnel, they’ve got a pretty hefty backlog of music to go through. In my humble opinion, Mount Machine would make a solid addition to any sludge and noise rock fan’s collection. Go buy it now! (Bryan)

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