Vestal Claret have just released their first proper full length CD, Bloodbath, on Nine Records. For the uninitiated, Vestal Claret (VC) play a tradtional style of doom with heavy occult influences. They sound like those second wave of doom bands (Candlemass and St. Vitus) and VC proudly flies the dark flag of these beloved bands, proudly stating on their label's web page that "there is no influence or inspiration from anything of the past 2 decades that provoked this release or it's ideas and concepts".
So that said, let's dive into some of the tunes on this album.
The album kicks off with a nearly nine and a half minute track, Hex of Harm, which offers up nearly two minutes of moody guitar until a stuttering guitar riff rattles your puny brainy in its candy shell. And don't look to the vocals for relief, here you get traditional doom vocal stylings with lyrics like "Suffer them as they may live/And if by chance they should die/Torment theirs souls in simple rhyme". Seven minutes into the track the solos start, and they dance in flame and brimstone, while you nod and tap your cloven hoof.
Next up is Devil's Daughters, a short track by doom standards, that boasts vocals which sound more than a lil' like vocalist emeritus of the doom genre, Ozzy. And don't think this is meant to call the tune derivative. It ain't. Keep your ears peeled towards the end of this one for a drum break down with solo to follow. Oh yeah.
The Correlation starts like with drums a bangin' and somehow manges to work the lyrics "Malevolent the illuminist/Nepharious in secret society" into the tune. Say it aloud, then imagine how in the hell it could be sung. With all those syllables, the lines could have come off alien or forced, all credit to vocalist Philip Swanson.
And there's more. There is over seventy minutes of slow doom and gloom on this album. Fans of the genre will welcome this collection of straight up solid interpreation of classic doom. Doomheads! I command you to crawl from your dungeons and check this one out.