In the spirit of the staff suggestions featured in record shops and old-school video stores (RIP), we share our Vault Picks. It’s a chance to venture beyond Indy Metal Vault’s premieres and reviews for a glimpse into other recent releases the staff have been jamming in their secluded lairs. From extreme underground oddities to non-metal recommendations and guilty pleasures, unlock our newest bevy of Vault Picks below.
Through the Burial Bog
Released on October 18th, 2018
Genre: Sludge/Death Metal
Bass-only metal isn’t really a new gimmick nowadays. We already had Neoandertals, Bassinvaders, and Bell Witch covering the niche between three incredibly different genres, but now it’s Bog Body’s turn to bring the idea to filthy, sludgy death metal. The impressive thing here is mostly just how fuckin’ huge it sounds despite there only being two instruments on display. The riffs and drumming themselves are nothing special but this is clearly meant to be more of an “experience” than anything else, and I’d be lying if I said this short demo didn’t take me on a journey to a very dark and grotesque space. EDIT: This was written before Nick’s review and I just want to emphasize that he is wrong and you should listen to me instead.
Blut Aus Nord
Released on September 20, 2019
Genre: Avant-garde black metal
Blut Aus Nord are known for experimenting, but that still didn’t prepare me for their latest album, which I have no doubt will be seen by history as a masterwork. Gone are all vocals with the exception of some ambient chanting. Gone is any semblance of black metal. What Blut Aus Nord have left us with is absolute majesty: a beautiful album that few others can compete with that is masterfully crafted and passionately performed. Music fans tired of the Batushka drama should give this a listen, since this is basically what the aforementioned band have been aiming for, except perfected.
Released on September 17th, 2019
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the abrasive comic stylings and surprisingly heartfelt crooning of Neil Hamburger firsthand, along with a very interesting opening act I wasn’t familiar with, self-proclaimed “professional opening act” Major Entertainer. As this figure emerged onto the stage, his sequined western shirt glistening in the spotlight, I had no idea what I was in for, but what ensued had me in hysterics, and just this past week he released his debut album, MIKE. Lyrically and stylistically, it runs an impressive gamut for its short runtime, from a somber yet vague ode lamenting the mysterious absence of the narrator’s wife’s best friend, to a darkwave song celebrating the films of Frank Henenlotter. The album is produced by Trey Spruance (ex-Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3), which should come as no surprise while listening to it. If you love avant-garde music, horror movies, or alternative comedy as much as I do, you’ll definitely get something out of this.
Released on 31st October
Genre: Raw Black Metal
The hype around this one is REAL… and very well deserved. Fólkvangr Records and Not Kvlt Records are teaming up to bring us the incredible debut album from mysterious duo Dai-ichi and if you’re a fan of raw black like Ildjarn, Vlad Tepes or Akitsa then it will hit your blasphemy gland just right. Punkish venom meets howling melancholia while pestilential melodies seemingly emanate from the afterlife; I’ve no idea who these evil spirits are but I do know this is a solid chance to bother your end of year lists. Miss at your peril.
No statements || Death is real || Death is coming
-Aaron Dexter Bray
Released on September 20th, 2019
Genre: Death Metal/Crust
There’s nothing more boring than an argument about pizza. I’m a native New Yorker, and if I’m going to re-animate my corpse to talk about Chicago crust it’s gonna be about death metal trio Bones. Diseased is their first record in 6 years, and opening track “Blood, Diarrhea, and Tears” reveals their gnarly, messy intent from vocalist/low-end Jon Necromancer’s first sewer-dwelling bass-line. This is beer-binging death crust for fans of Video Nasties and resin hits. Hell, “Down” even has a grunge passage imagining Nirvana morphing into Nirvana 2002. Fans of Pungent Stench and Coffins rejoice and feast on the record’s scummy grooves.
Released on April 2nd, 2018
Genre: Blackened Speed Metal
It seems to be a lot more common now than it used to be to blacken everything, particularly speed metal. Some of them sit well, others just don’t go anywhere. But Wasteland Riders area group that really knows how to make their mark without staying too long, and packing in just the right amount of energy. Truly, they remind me of early Witchery, as there’s such a burning hot sensation of rock ‘n roll inspired riffs mixed into the speed metal body. Vocally it’s very digestible, and the lyrics fit the atmosphere very well.
Lana Del Rey
Norman Fucking Rockwell
Released on August 31st, 2019
Genre: Art Pop
Despite an exaggerated potty mouth (the first word you hear on this album is an f-bomb), Lana Del Rey has never sounded more sophisticated than she has no Norman Fucking Rockwell. This is most blatant on the nine elaborate minutes of “Venice Bitch,” but the album’s more conventionally structured songs benefit from lush arrangements. Her lyrics and vocals also keep to her signature Americana relation aesthetic, but they are decidedly more impactful. It’s not a drastic departure from her usual method so much as an overhaul that improves everything about it. If you’re as new to Lana Del Rey as I am, this looks to be an excellent place to start.