Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wrapped In A Sheet - Vultures

Vultures – Self Released 2011

1.Harshest Winter 2.Vultures 3.John Proctor
4.Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch vs the Marquis De Sade
5.An Absence of Mirrors 6.The Thundering of A Distant Piano 7.Throats
8.November Aria I: In Memorium 9.November Aria II: Of Frozen Earth
10.November Aria III: Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa 11.Vultures (Reprise)

Wrapped In A Sheet, a one-man outfit from Derby, Scarecrow being the driving force behind this black metal assault. Some people may be put off by the whole ‘one man band’ thing, but don’t be, the eleven tracks on offer could have easily been produced by a ‘full’ band. ‘Vultures’ is primarily a black metal album, but there is so much on offer throughout all eleven tracks. WIAS does tend to sit in the melodic / symphonic end of the black metal scale, and there are moments of pure hate showing through, especially in the vocal delivery (very reminiscent of old school UK act Morstice when they flirted with the black metal on their third release). Synths are used effectively throughout, never over-bearing, more used as an accompaniment to the guitars that release some extremely well written and memorable riffs. Shifting from harsh black metal, into melodic passages and then into piano led, almost gothic interludes, it all works very well.

An ice-cold atmosphere has been created throughout, the slower more melodic, gothic sounding sections fit perfectly alongside the black metal rawness. The atmosphere becomes truly haunting when Scarecrow adds clean, sung / spoken vocals into the mix, using them sparsely (but effectively) throughout so as not to become predictable. I’m not sure ‘catchy’ should be used to describe black metal, but when the likes of ‘November Aria II; Of frozen Earth’ is blasting from the speakers, its hard to find another word to describe it, the main riff will have your head nodding and foot tapping and you wont want the riff to end,  that’s how good it is! As much as I have praised this release, there are some negative points which need to be highlighted, one being the production, very vocal heavy with the guitars been very low in the mix which tends to see them getting lost under the harshness of the high-pitched screaming throughout. Also, the drum sound isn’t great and the drum patterns used are very simplistic, a bit too simple at times which is unfortunate as the songs would truly grab you by the throat with an accomplished drummer behind the kit, but being a solo project, this is unlikely to happen. However, the positives far outweigh the minor negative points. Overall, this is an excellent release from on one man who clearly knows his stuff and is an extremely competent musician. Well recommended.


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