May 022022

In the Faith That Looks Through Death, the 2020 debut EP of Vital Spirit (which we had the privilege of premiering), was a true gem. Black metal provided the backbone for the music, but it flourished through the fuel of other wide-ranging inspirations, both conceptual and musical.

The band is a Vancouver duo — guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kyle Tavares (Seer, Wormwitch) and drummer Israel Langlais (Wormwitch) — but the EP took shape in between Wormwitch’s 2018 and 2019 American tours, and thus it was animated by the lands to the south that these two saw and the histories of those places. “Harrowing ballads imbued with the enduring spirit of the Americas” is how they described that four-song EP, and through it they brought to life visions of the Old West and Southwest of the U.S.

After hearing that remarkable EP we hoped it wouldn’t be a one-off adventure but instead an excursion that would continue. “There is, after all,” we wrote, “a lot of source material in the history and landscapes of the Americas that’s yet to be mined!” We and a lot of other fans have gotten our wish, because on May 6th Vendetta Records and Hidden Tribe will release Vital Spirit‘s debut album, Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind. Continue reading »

Mar 052022

Septicflesh – photo by Stella Mouzi

I wasn’t able to pull together any roundups of new songs and videos this past week, which means that today I’m only scratching the surface of what surfaced. It’s more like scratching just the top molecular layer of a solid block of steel. I’ll be back tomorrow to do some more scratching. Maybe some of your musical itches will be scratched too.


Yesterday Nuclear Blast released news about a forthcoming album by SepticFlesh and a video for its first singe, “Hierophant“. It’s a conceptual song that begins a story which continues in the track “Self-Eater”.

This first part of the story (to quote band member Sotiris Anunnaki V) “depicts the experience of a high priest, acting as a human conduit between Heaven and Earth. Having never heard a single word from the mouth of God, he grows tired of preaching the preordained words of the clergy. He turns to performing primitive and powerful rituals that have been long forbidden, as he seeks the guidance of a chaotic elemental consciousness”. Continue reading »

Aug 242020


Before delving deeper into the sounds of Vital Spirit‘s debut EP, In the Faith That Looks Through Death, let’s begin with the band’s own stated list of musical influences: Ennio Morricone, Taake, Earth, Ulver, Marty Robbins, Dissection, Drudkh, Inquisition, and Wovenhand.

And then let’s add to that this list of their lyrical inspirations: Wovoka, Patti Smith, Chilam Balam, Townes Van Zandt, and the corridos of the Mexican Revolution (with subjects that range from Mayan cosmology and history, to Pancho Villa’s role in the Mexican Revolution, and Wovoka’s Ghost Dance movement).

Got that? Well, you probably don’t, because even though you can read all those names, comprehending how such disparate sources of inspiration could all work together in harness under the coaxing (and the whiphand) of this Vancouver duo is probably a challenge. But when you listen to the music, you’ll discover that it all integrates wonderfully well. And the fact that In the Faith That Looks Through Death doesn’t sound quite like anything else becomes a big part of its attraction. Continue reading »