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Vampillia - Alchemic Heart CD (album) cover

ALCHEMIC HEART

Vampillia

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.88 | 6 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post Rock Team
4 stars Vampillia are a 10-piece Japanese outfit who describe themselves as a "brutal orchestra." This is their first full-length album and more in the post-rock mold rather than their other releases which are supposed to be more metal oriented. There are no drums or percussion on this album. This is generally slow moving music which, although divided into two 25 minute songs, could be seen as one long piece. The two tracks are almost the exact same length and have a lot in common, but also different in many ways.

"Sea" sounds similar to A Silver Mt. Zion for the most part. Guest vocalist Jarboe from Swans recites lyrics, most of which consist of "I breathe in..." different things. This is a very drone-like and ambient for the first half. Only after 5 minutes does the volume increase with the addition of more instruments. Minimal piano notes become the focus after 8 minutes. In the middle cool electronic sounds lead to GYBE style loud distorted guitar being played one chord at a time. The vocals become more terrifying which sound like Jarboe imitating being strangled. Some kind of chanting or simlar can be heard. More operatic singing as the track moves on to the 20 minute mark. Starts to get noisier towards the end with the piano standing out. At 23 1/2 minutes everything quiets down and piano, spoken words and some atmospheric sound effects end the piece.

"Land" features noise artist Merzbow. This starts out more ASMZ style but the noisy electronics turn it into something else entirely. Strings dominate for awhile. Then piano grows in importance. After 10 minutes the strings come back in full force. Like the last track we get those distrorted guitar chords again...one at a time, slowly, starting again in the middle. Later double-tracked spacey operatic singing, the same as at the end of "Sea" but here much louder in the mix. The electronics start to get louder and more noticeable. Before 20 minutes there is so much cacophony it sounds like the wind is howling. Intense stuff! At the very end everything calms down and then some lovely piano.

I have yet to hear their other releases, but I enjoyed Alchemic Heart. It sounds great and despite not much happening over the course of 50 minutes, still holds my attention. I've heard very similar music done much better, but this is still well done. It's hard to say what direction this ensemble is going to go in the future. I'll give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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