REVIEW: V/A - "I Am Vengeance"

By Zubrovka

Chain Border

I Am VengeanceA horror movie soundtrack and a compilation of artists from the MeteorCity stable. Check their web site. I ought to explain something here. My heavy metal leanings are somewhat sparse beginning with Led Zeppelin in the late 60's, I can pretty much count them on 2 hands and didn't realize a lot of them were metal. I think I realized it as a genre in 1983 when I attended a Judas Priest concert in Memphis.

I Am Vengeance...My wife looks in on me in my studio and notices I have the headphones on and my head is shaking violently up and down, as she walks closer she notices the iTunes screen is surging and swirling and suddenly the phones are pulled off my head and she has them on, going "mmmmm." A few sharp words from me and she retreats as I resume "the listen." I've never heard of any of these bands before and they all kick ass!

Lowrider starts it, with an off key dirge that takes you down in a hole, like a depression soak, with David William Hughes. Doomsday Gouvernment continues the plunge with I Am Vengeance and I'm sitting here thinking about some acid I dropped in the early 70's, because I associate it with the first Black Sabbath LP. Blood Farmers level the dirge out with Bullet In My Head with what I would term a rolling metal style in slow 4/4 time. The Awesome Machine's Mother's Gone is an almost para-military drummed out (weird guitar here) howl about death. Eternal Elysium's weeping slow shred floats you in heavy water…whoa!

Space Probe Taurus' Calling Cosmos; supposedly the rantings of an LSD user, up tempo and quite different from the preceding tracks. 1970ish I think is a good explanation, that sound. Naevus bends your attention with a bass lead into real bizarre guitar sound. Lost Confidence…I think it's the alternative off key as applied to heavy metal that's freaking my mind, it comes off different, sort of like having a mild liquor buzz and listening so a good smooth guitarist. sHeavy's high pitched vocal ballad; it's that voice screeching in your mind like a fingernail on a chalkboard in Sea of Tomorrow, "sea of tomorrow come wash my pain away." Funky guitar backed by acoustic guitar, nice sound.

Dan Fondelius comes along and creates a beautiful sonic soundscape, heavy synths, well a bit trippy, in Day of the Comet. Bongwater666 yanks the listener back down to the deck in a slow mournful wailing with Cannibal Love Song. Still it works, looking into the mind of the killer, "I feel no love I don't care, all this pain is all I have.". Moving vocals. Dan Fondelius pauses the music for a public service message . The Answer/ "Vote for Pearcy."

Las Cruces stirs emotions well with their excellent In My Sadness. I had forgotten how much slow metal can entertain. Rainmaker888's Killing Words bumps the tempo to fast Priest-like melodies, the lyrics create disturbing canvases of childhood. Count Raven's Scream leads into more swirling Black Sabbathesque landscapes. The Quill; Mind Drifter reeling down into balladesque, almost a sense of hell from the acoustic lead in, then the metal snarls and the tempo like a pulse comes back up. Doomsday Gouvernment ends it with Decision. I can't help but wonder if Ozzy is fronting these people. Oh well, it's too good.

What is all this? A serial killers' mind spread out on a sonic soundscape in shredded morbidity. Its scope is narrow, but it punches the listener awake, tells a story with convincing lyrics and really good continuity. In the end, it doesn't fade away, it just stops and your mind wants more, but there is just silence.

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