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Vine of Souls

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Album Review

One of the first possible thoughts one can arrive at upon a spin of Vine of Souls and its first track, "Mordranicht," is its spoken word opening by head-witch Sam Skraeling is heavily reminescent of "Oh Bondage (Up Yours)." The actual body of music on the album is heavy metal, but "Feminist Wiccan Metal" might be a better descriptor, as witchcraft & the occult play heavily in the imagery of the band and its tunes. It's a consistent look, at least. Between the album art, song titles, and lyrics, these guys(& one gal) have a sense of art direction informed by early Black Sabbath, certain Led Zeppelin songs, a handful of issues of the "Sandman" and "Hellblazer" comic books, and innumerable tarot decks. Dark thoughts pervade, with tracks eminating from the previously listed elements among tinges both of the psychedelic(dig the opening to "Ayahuasca"), and the paranoid("Eye in the Sky"). Musically, the band is at its best when riffing; the tracks cruise along with a good pace and power.Sam Skraeling's vocals have the dark, siren/trance-like quality of vintage Ozzy. The album is full of leftist messages popping up here and there, sometimes to good effect("Change," "Mother Earth"), sometimes not(again, "Don't Go"). Problems occur with the other bits. Some of the downtempo "funkier jams" don't work quite so well, and the anti-police rant of "Don't Go" conjure up the worst aftereffects of Rage Against the Machine and its lesser-talented ilk. Guys, stick to the Ministry-like songs and not "the white metal band gettin' funky", and everything will work out. Sticking with the dark metal—which fortunately never approaches the aggro prevalent in most post-90's metal—results in a good loud-rock album. Toning back on some of the "lookee us! we're bloody witches, dammit!" sense would prove a gain, but one can only hope for that on a later record.

Customer Reviews

Fascinating yet good

I initially got this because it was put out by Alternative Tentacles and I love Jello Biafra, but then I listened to it and was absolutely amazed! They have a good blend of punk and metal with solid feminist and hippie tendencies. Powerful, enjoyable stuff.

Vine of Souls, Iowaska
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Customer Ratings

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