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Vampillia - Alchemic Heart CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.97 | 8 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The first full-length album from Vampillia, Alchemic Heart is a very odd beast indeed - two sprawling, drone-like epics from a band more accustomed to free-wheeling, intense bursts of musical chaos (the self-given term "brutal orchestra" normally applies, although not so much with this release). The first track, "Sea", features a dark, semi-repetitious spoken-word section by former Swans vocalist Jarboe that seems almost tailor-made to cause unease in the listener, while the second track, "Land", is a veritable sea of distorted instrumentation and noise courtesy of Japanese noise rock master Merzbow.

Obvious deviations from the style of their Sppears EP aside, Alchemic Heart is a powerful, chilling release focusing more on creating an avant-garde soundscape in the vein of early black metal than Vampillia's signature chaotic chamber music. Nonetheless, they pull off the switch with a level of sophistication and nuance that is usually not expected from a group deviating this far from their other material. While not an album for the ADD crowd due to its heavy focus on soundscapes and occasionally sparse passages, it is highly worth the listen for the dark, unsettling ambience alone, despite the occasional tendency to drag a bit (but not overly so) as it goes along. While not an essential album, it is nonetheless well worth the listen, and a worthwhile addition to one's music collection. 3.75 stars, rounded up to 4.

madmike | 4/5 |


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