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VAMPILLIA

Post Rock/Math rock • Japan


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Vampillia biography
VAMPILLIA are a Japanese experimental post-rock and avant-garde metal group that describe themselves as a 10-piece brutal orchestra with attempts to fuse classical music ideas and concepts into a more modern musical form. Being ten members strong, Vampillia's music tends to be on the noisy side, but they've also successfully attempted a more ambient and melodic approach to their complex concepts. Their 2011 debut album Alchemic Heart is a beautiful, noisy, and enigmatic approach to post-rock that includes guest musicians such as MERZBOW and members of SWANS. Their second album for 2011, Rule the World = Deathtiny Land is a polar-opposite from their previous album, being completely symphonic avant-garde metal, and follows two separate polar-opposite storylines within one set of tracks that together run only for about 25 minutes. Being one of the more interesting artists in recent years that rise from Japan, VAMPILLIA have been selected as a SXSW 2011 showcasing artist.

Bio by Alan (colorofmoney91)

Vampillia official website

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Buy VAMPILLIA Music


Alchemic HeartAlchemic Heart
IMPORTANT RECORDS 2011
Audio CD$9.02
$7.06 (used)
Some Nightmares Take You AuroraSome Nightmares Take You Aurora
Import
Imports 2014
Vinyl$17.35
$46.21 (used)
Some Nightmares Take You Aurora Rainbow DarknessSome Nightmares Take You Aurora Rainbow Darkness
Universal Music 2014
Audio CD$9.66
$14.02 (used)
Alchemic HeartAlchemic Heart
Temple of Torturous 2014
Vinyl$16.84
Rule the World + Deathtiny LandRule the World + Deathtiny Land
Import
2011
Audio CD$13.12
Vampillia - My Beautiful Twisted Nightmares In Aurora Rainbow [Japan CD] VBR-18Vampillia - My Beautiful Twisted Nightmares In Aurora Rainbow [Japan CD] VBR-18
Indies Japan
Audio CD$26.27
$27.74 (used)
Vampillia - The Divine Move [Japan CD] VBR-19Vampillia - The Divine Move [Japan CD] VBR-19
Indies Japan
Audio CD$31.77
$29.95 (used)
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VAMPILLIA/NADJA - THE PRIMITIVE WORLD [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD USD $12.21 Buy It Now 29 days

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VAMPILLIA shows & tickets


  • INTERESTING!! on 28 Dec 2014
  • SXSW Music 2015 on 17 Mar 2015

VAMPILLIA discography


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VAMPILLIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 6 ratings
Alchemic Heart
2011

VAMPILLIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VAMPILLIA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VAMPILLIA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VAMPILLIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Sppears
2009
3.98 | 3 ratings
Rule The World / Deathtiny Land
2011

VAMPILLIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alchemic Heart by VAMPILLIA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 6 ratings

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Alchemic Heart
Vampillia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math 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.

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 Sppears by VAMPILLIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Sppears
Vampillia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by madmike

— First review of this album —
3 stars Vampillia's debut EP, "Sppears" is a brief, intense blast of the band's particular breed of avant- garde, a veritable collage of classical, punk, metal (mostly of the black and death varieties, focusing heavily on atmosphere and texture), and mathy post-rock. The main tracks of note are "Heyoah", a minute-long punk-flavored barrage of varied vocals and frenetic percussion, "Negame", a song that flexes the band's more classical chops while featuring quasi-operatic alto vocals in a manner that would seem quite familiar to fans of bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra, and "Mersum", a complete change of pace by virtue of the fact that it goes completely minimalist, relying on a single lyrical female vocalist and an acoustic guitar.

Overall, the EP does a great job of serving as a brief introduction to the band's musical directions and stylings, but little more. And "brief" being the operative word - at just over seventeen minutes in length, and the final four tracks being instrumentals (three of them, the "- naked" tracks, are simply instrumentals of prior songs on the album), you could blink and miss a good chunk of the album. For that reason, it's hard to recommend it beyond being a sampler for those new to the band's style, obvious quality aside.

2.5 stars, rounded up to 3. Well worth the listen, despite its lack of staying power in one's musical rotation.

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 Rule The World / Deathtiny Land by VAMPILLIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.98 | 3 ratings

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Rule The World / Deathtiny Land
Vampillia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Rule The World/Deathtiny Land" is an EP release by Japanese avant garde metal act Vampillia. The album was released in April 2011 by code666.

The band's sound is promoted with a desciption that says "Brutal Orchestra" and while the brutal part is only partially true, the orchestra part of the description is valid enough. There are loads of classical piano and violin parts on the album mixed with death, black, punk and all sorts of other odd styles. The fact that the lyrics tell two different stories at the same time further adds to the avant garde/ adventurous element on the album. It's a rather weird idea and the soundscape can be quite confusing at times with both operatic female vocals, male death grunts and various other extreme vocal styles singing at the same time. If I had to mention a reference it would be Unexpect, but Vampillia are generally much more chaotic and filthy. The filthy elements is in large part due to the organic and at times almost lo-fi sound quality.

While "Rule The World/Deathtiny Land" is only considered an EP there are 24 tracks on this release. All tracks seque into each other to make the whole EP sound more or less like one long track. There are several reoccuring themes that binds the whole experience together though and for such a chaotic/ adventurous release, the EP is actually rather consistent both compositionally and quality wise.

"Rule The World/Deathtiny Land" is an oddball release and I'm sure it's very much an aquired taste. Personally I wasn't completely blown away upon my initial listen, but after several spins I've begun to appreciate the band's vision and I've come to enjoy "Rule The World/Deathtiny Land" quite a lot. A 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved for this adventurous release.

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 Rule The World / Deathtiny Land by VAMPILLIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.98 | 3 ratings

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Rule The World / Deathtiny Land
Vampillia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Vampillia is an interesting band, and Rule The World/Deathtiny Land is certainly an interesting observation. As one of the few metal bands from Japan, Vampillia explores a style of avant-garde metal that has remained previously untouched. This one is only recommended to those who crave the weird, adventurous, and extremely challenging side of music. The majority of Rule The World/Deathtiny Land is hardly even a metal release, but instead explores the most extreme variants of classical and avant-garde music, making for an exceptionally challenging and intriguing listen. Rule The World/Deathtiny Land certainly isn't for everyone, but for anyone craving something a little bit (or a hell of a lot) different from what they're used to, this effort from Vampillia is worth checking out.

The music played here is honestly unlike anything I've ever heard. Melancholic and beautiful piano/violin pieces are present throughout the album, but in the blink of an eye a chaotic storm of avant-garde madness with noisy drums, operatic vocals, and dense orchestral soundscapes will penetrate your ears. I've heard Vampillia compared to Unexpect a few times, and although that's the closest comparison I can think of, Vampillia is generally even more experimental and unconventional than those avant-metal veterans. Rule The World/Deathtiny Land is a concept release of sorts, and there are a few recurring themes and reprises that make the release feel more like a cohesive single composition than a collection of songs. Despite the eclecticism and "seemingly" random musical influences, Rule The World/Deathtiny Land reveals itself as a consistent release after multiple spins. Don't go into this EP expecting "love at first sight" - this one is a grower for sure. After my first listen I really only enjoyed the classical piano/violin tracks, but I certainly have warmed up to the avant-metal sections and consider them an essential part of this observation. I feel like I'm always on my toes waiting for dissonance and chaos to enter during any of the more melancholic sections of the EP. And if those crazy avant-metal sections don't enter, the soft songs are pure bliss!

Production-wise, Rule The World/Deathtiny Land is a bit unique. The sound here is a bit lo-fi (especially during the heavier sections with drums and guitars) without ever sounding weak. Softer sections always sound crystal-clear, and the more chaotic portions of the album are enhanced further by the rather unpolished production. I applaud the original approach taken here behind the soundboard.

Rule The World/Deathtiny Land wasn't an easy first acquaintance, but it's revealed itself as a terrific avant-metal effort from Vampillia. I feel like this EP always keeps me on my toes, and that's exactly what a good avant-garde release should do. I'd only recommend this to people looking for an adventurous listen - and for this audience, this can easily be considered an essential purchase. A love for classical music, avant-garde, and extreme metal will be required to enjoy this release, and even then it's not guaranteed. All I know is that this is an extremely high-quality product that I'd recommend in a heartbeat. 4 stars are well-deserved for this terrific EP.

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 Alchemic Heart by VAMPILLIA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 6 ratings

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Alchemic Heart
Vampillia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by madmike

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.

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