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.
Released on February 22nd, 2019
Genre: black/death/thrash metal
That’s right; these monstrous studs cover the three biggest sub-branches of extreme heavy metal! Breaking out of the Philadelphia scene, Basilysk deliver an onslaught of buzzing guitar passages with hints of technical songwriting. Clicking drums and strong bass presence capture the mood, leaving a hefty amount of space for raw-sounding riffs and wavy rhythms alike. For something so sinister, the band manages to keep plenty of clarity on Emergence. The instrumental builds work perfectly alongside the harsh vocals, and I suggest giving it a spin to all who enjoy black, death, or thrash metal.
Four Dimensional Flesh
Released on March 13th, 2020
Genre: brutal death metal
I’ve been on a real brutal death metal kick lately, but brutal death metal as a subgenre is one that is more restrictive than many subgenres. That’s where Afterbirth from New York come in to help it from getting stagnant. If a portal opened to another universe, and death metal seeped out of that portal, then that death metal would be Afterbirth. It sounds like brutal death from outer space due to its experimentation and unorthodox melodic flourishes that at times sound like the weirdest moments from Gorguts and Artificial Brain. This is their second album, which just came out, so check it out. Someone needs to arrange a Wormed and Afterbirth tour.
Released on January 15th, 2020
Boston post-metal project SEA released their debut LP Impermanence just two weeks into the year, and I’m still reeling from its power. The performance of vocalist/bassist Stephen LoVerme loudly and deeply expresses pain, but not without also representing satisfying catharsis. Meanwhile, guitarists Mike Blasi and Liz Walshak deftly steer SEA from Neurosis’ earthy doom to passages of star-scorched shoegaze. Despite the album’s funereal presence, there’s warmth and empathy abound. Highly recommended for fans of SubRosa and emotional intelligence.
Released on February 12th, 2020
Genre: Death Metal
Are you stuck in quarantine with someone that doesn’t enjoy your beloved deathly tunes? Do you have to negotiate for small doses going onto the shared playlist that wafts notes down your echoey empty halls? Anhedonist and Spectral Voice are here to help with about 14 minutes of grim, crushing ugliness that may just summon the reaper faster than you were hoping. Anhedonist open up this split with a tremolo-driven pounding coupled with strong doses of blast and a touch of gallop. Spectral Voice, who happen to share ¾ of their band with Blood Incantation, bring a bit more doom and an exploratory atmosphere to the split. These Denver fellows also court the occasional gibbering vocal of the trapped madman that we’re all sure to let out in the near future.