“Glory! Glory! Apathy Took Helm!”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The combination of the appalling cover image and whacky album title propelled me into full blown “hipster alert” when first looking at VILE CREATURE. That designation is not wholly inappropriate as the album is definitely aimed at intellectual metalheads, but this record is actually a lot heavier and more aggressive than I would have thought and emerges as something a bit different.

I’d put this two person outfit in the sludge and post-metal categories myself. You could call it doom, too, but this sure isn’t epic or traditional CANDLEMASS stuff.  “Harbinger of Nothing” blasts things off with a hellish scream from Vic (I believe) and grinding sludge. This is a long cut that doesn’t let up much, although there’s some “twangy” clean guitar ala EARTH’s “desert drone” period mixed in. “When The Path Is Unclear” lasts almost exactly the same duration but is a really weird beast. It’s more sludgy heaviness, but everything sounds like it’s coming from a million miles away. The vocals in particular have a “smeared” feel that’s way back in the mix. Listening to this is the equivalent of trying to see far objects through a thick fog.

“You Who Has Never Slept” rumbles in with slamming tribal drums and massively heavy riffs almost in the SUNN 0))) category. A bit shorter than the first two songs, this is the album’s best track and should please those into gooey, thick sludge. In contrast, “Glory! Glory!” is hauntingly beautiful layered vocals like a church choir. It goes a bit longer than it should, but it’s a pretty piece of music. The record ends with “Apathy Took Helm”, which combines that twangy clean drone with heavier sounds. It’s almost transcendent in a way.The vocals are different as well, as I believe K.W. does some of the lead here.

Don’t let the cover put you off. If you like experimental sludge and drone music, VILE CREATURE is something to look into.