Genre: Heavy, Black, Doom Metal
You would not believe the size of the smile on my face when this little gem materialized in my mailbox. I metaphorically splooged all over Inverticrux’s (formally known as Vintage Flesh) last album, Hour Of The Night Gaunts, so my expectations are impossibly high for their 2012 release, Virgin Reaper. With an album title like that, they’re well on their way to meeting those standards. What mysteries were to behold within? Were there any other changes along side the band name? My mind is racing with the wondrous possibilities…
Immediately, I’m ecstatic to find that the schizophrenic genre melding remains in Inverticrux’s own patented style. Mixing elements of classic heavy metal, some toned down doom metal and slivers of black metal to make something that’s original and easily distinguishable as belonging to these New Hampshire psychopaths!
Holy… was that a harmonica? Fuck yes! I’ve always said that more metal bands should utilize the power found inside this little magical wind instrument! Granted it’s only found in the song A Cautionary Tale, but I’d rather it be in only one track than in none at all. Personal excitement over discovering the use of an under appreciated instrument aside, the overall instrumentation in Virgin Reaper has a crusty, filthiness going for it that rarely gets the praise it deserves when it’s discovered outside of punk or related versions of black metal. I for one am stoked to find it here!
More praise is to be sent vocalist RayPissed’s way! He changed up his vocal tactic this time around by ditching the constant falsetto (which so many others apparently had a problem with) and replacing it with more variety. Gruff, but not tough guy vocals lead the way while being backed up with the occasional higher end tune and and even better still version of his haunting bellowing! The guy is a vocal genius!
The production is another tally in the positive side of things. Everything sounds much crisper than it did in Hour Of The Night Gaunts while still completely down and dirty. And let’s talk about that cover art! The titular character is clutching his recently used scythe in one hand and a bloody cherry in the other while standing on a pile of skulls, surrounded by blood drenched, big titted chicks! Fucking METAL!!!
Overall: Tinkle me pink to find out that Virgin Reaper holds it’s own against it’s predecessor with it’s stylistic variations and crusty similarities! Inverticrux is a band that knocks down genre expectations and will continue to do what they wish, when they wish on into the future and Funeral Rain will be right there behind them, cheering them on all the way!
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