Let VHÖL “Illuminate” Your Afternoon
Okay so I’m not completely sold on VHÖL (apparently the all-caps thing is part of their name), but I am sufficiently intrigued by the song Stereogum just debuted, “Illuminate,” to check out the rest of the band’s forthcoming Profound Lore debut. I’ve also listened to the song three times now and enjoyed it more and more with each successive listen, which is a good sign.
Stereogum’s Michael Nelson describes the band with a gusto with which I don’t care to compete right now:
“VHÖL synthesize many of the same atavistic influences Darkthrone have incorporated over the years: first-wave black metal; d-beat hardcore; late-’80s Teutonic thrash; King Diamond vocal flourishes. Then they blacken those influences, add some sludge, throw ‘em all into the cauldron, and hit ‘Incinerate.’ None of it is new, exactly, and by all rights, it should sound retro. Instead, it sounds classic.”
Interestingly enough, it’s those “King Diamond vocal flourishes” that really tickle my nether regions. There’s something about using that vocal style only sparingly that really makes it jumps out at me; I know the comparison must seem weird as hell, but All Shall Perish do something similar on their song “Black Gold Reign” to equally energetic effect.
Stream “Illuminate” here. VHÖL’s VHÖL comes out April 16 on Profound Lore.