Yet another entry in the Funeral Rain archives that start out with “I honestly didn’t know what to expect from _____…” But seriously, the ghastly cover art for Hour Of The Night Gaunts and the rude, crude and full of ‘tude approach that the lads in Vintage Flesh have on their Facebook page immediately paint them out to be wildcards capable of anything under the metal sun!
I’ve never been so dead on before. Vintage Flesh is (er… was, as they are now known as Inverticrux) capable of ANYTHING and they show it on their very last album! And while I was scanning the ‘net for intel on these guys, I managed to find nothing but iffy reviews about their “played out” and “why bother” style of metal… but what the hell do “they” know? Hour Of The Night Gaunts is a heavily complex album, full of material that any true metalhead/gothic whatsit should be drooling over by the first note!
Vocalist RayPissed chooses to go down a path that you don’t hear very often in metal of this caliber: falsetto. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking King Diamond right about now, but you’re way off. It’s more of a blackened shriek mixed with a woman in a 60’s sitcom who just saw a mouse. Now those of you who thought King Diamond are all frowny faced. But guess what? Fuck you! I like this style. It’s unique and plays off the rest of the band very well. But Mr. Pissed also manages to throw in these over the top, dramatic semi-soliloquies that HAUNT as well as entertain. Oh, and there’s some excellent growls thrown in there from time to time, generally as an accent or background vocal. At any rate, the vocals are top notch!
I’m not really sure how to continue this review since all I’m going to do is verbally jizz all over the tight musicianship and the virtual ghostly opera that goes down from begin to end. The twelve car pile up of genre melding can go from doomy funeral dirges that give way to scorching black metal riffs that make room for pseudo-power metal melodies in just one track! Substance. This album has it.
Overall: Hour Of The Night Gaunts is a fun, haunting ride from Follow Me To The Grave to While I Wandered Away With Death. If you don’t get what these spooky cats are laying down, then kindly remove the stick from betwixt yer buttocks so that I might replace it with my boot!
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