VHS “I Heard They Suck...Blood”
By Dr. Abner Mality
Get plenty of garlic if you pick this one up. The subject matter here is vampires. Not an exactly unique subject in the world of extreme metal, but VHS focus on the less serious side of bloodsuckers here, turning their eye mostly to 80’s B-movies (though not exclusively). These guys are the fun side of death metal, with a generous helping of punk and straight up rock and roll. They remind me of the bands found on the Razorback label and would make a great opening band for GHOUL.
It’s fun and catchy stuff, definitely not the ultra-brutal kind of death metal, but certainly not commercial either. The vocals are guttural, the samples from vampire movies are plentiful and the riffs are hooky. There are some surprises, like the sax solo that pops up in “The Frog Brothers” and the almost SKYNYRD sounding boogie rock in “A Town Called Purgatory”...just enough to keep things from getting too monotonous. “Martin, Martin” and “Black Mass” are almost death/doom with their slower pace and surprisingly serious, to boot. But most of the time, it’s fun, fast rippers that aren’t too serious, like “Fake Blood and Push-Up Bras”. Trevor from BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and Dave from BENEDICTION pop up to add their own growls to the party.
This is kind of an antidote to super-grim “cavernous” death metal or ultra-serious tech-death stuff. For that reason alone I can recommend VHS and “I Heard They Suck...Blood”.