VHӦL- VHӦL (Profound Lore Records)

Friday, 17th May 2013
Rating: 10/10

Thee Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Credential laden, Super, All-Star Band, VHӦL! Yes, that description was ripped from The Muppet Show Theme (the first part, at least) but, all these sentiments apply. This band is made from parts of Ludicra, Hammers of Misfortune, Yob, Agalloch and a few other bands, being why “super group” keeps being bandied about on the internet. Cool band pedigree aside, you will be hard pressed to find more exciting music to listen to this year. I challenge you.

The much buzzed about self-titled release from San Francisco’s VHӦL is around 45 minutes of everything a headbanger with any level of taste and distinction could ask for. All the best in Black Metal tremolo, furious thrashing, heavy metal riff excellence every- fucking-where, and a vocal performance that runs the gamut from sinister, old, crone to power metal warrior. Oh, and you can bet that the death growls are deep, guttural and aplenty when called for.

The album starts with “The Wall” and you feel that this record is special immediately. Faster than fastest at times, triumphant sounding guitar work throughout, some chanting here, some howls there. Mind Erasers “Insane With Faith” and “Grace” are pure unrelenting, Discharge worshiping hardcore at their roots with branches of early heavy metal. “Arising” and “Set to Await Forever” are where I feel VHӦL really prove their mettle/Metal. Every player is able and determined to destroy the false. Vocalist Mike Scheidt kills on every track, but it is on “Set to Await Forever” where his abilities are sure to leave other singers feeling inadequate and disillusioned.

Each of these seven songs on VHӦL is distinctive, expertly crafted and most importantly CRUSHING. You will want to own this on all formats. You will want to travel far to see VHӦL live. You will want to be in VHӦL.