Velvet Acid Christ – Ora Oblivionis

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL:https://www.metropolis-records.com/
Released: 2019
Buy Album [URL]: https://velvetacidchristofficial.bandcamp.com/album/ora-oblivionis
https://velvetacidchristofficial.bandcamp.com/album/ora-oblivionis-deluxe-version
Band Website: http://www.velvetacidchrist.com/

 
Band Lineup:

Bryan Erickson (aka “Hexfix93”)  – Keys, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar and Vocals
Dianna Recalde (aka “Shiva”) – Keys, Piano, Vocals
David Thrussell – Vocals
Gunnar Fehling- Drums

Track Listing:

01 Conviction 4:29
02 Adventures In Babysitting The
Antichrist 5:08
03 The Bullet Wins 4:10
04 The Colors Of My Sadness 5:22
05 Twist The Knife 4:20
06 Wrack 4:44
07 Trash 4:00
08 Romero 5:12
09 Conjuro 4:52
10 Cog 4:44
11 Pill Box 4:10
12 Not Of This Earth 4:20

 

Review

Velvet Acid Christ are an electro-industrial/Gothic/EBM band founded and based in Denver Colorado. There seems though to have been a heavy German/European influence on them over the years with various Germans gracing the lineup in that time (one track “Wrack” is even sung in the language).

In addition the band have toured extensively in Europe and largely made their name there. Much of this album was recorded in Bonn (Germany’s pre-unification capital) and “various hotels in England” I am told. They have been in existence in some form or other for almost 30 years and Ora Oblivionis is their 13th album.

Bryan Erickson is the founding member of VAC, and appears to be the sole consistent member of the band, as well as it’s main songwriter, instrumentalist and vocalist.

Velvet Acid Christ have one of those “provocative” or “sacrilegious” names which seem to be unique (but ubiquitous) to Goth and it’s associated sub-cultures.

The tracks (including several instrumentals) have such titles as “Adventures in Babysitting the Antichrist”- which has super fast 16th beats with a bright keyboard riff throughout followed by a darker refrain at the tracks end and there is also “Twist the Knife” which has a gentle (synth?) piano intro followed by a massive guitar and drums fanfare followed by a heavy guitar riff almost throughout the track -with a gentler guitar at the tracks close.

“Romero” is (as you may have guessed from the title) is a nice little ode to the Zombie Apocalypse set to gentle piano. It’s slower than most of the tracks with a female vocalist – Dianna Recalde (aka “Shiva”-who also sings the afore-mentioned “Wrack”, and well as “Conjuro” and “Colours of Sadness”).

The track “Cog” also features guest vocals from David Thrussell of Snog.

However, Erickson delivers most of the songs (and he does it in that snarled hissed whisper particular to much Goth music. His vocals are so low in the mix that the lyrics are entirely indecipherable (though a full lyric sheet is helpfully provided in the artwork). Only “Pillbox” breaks this pattern with a clear voice delivering such lyrics as “I destroyed her face with a look.. Ha Ha! I spread the plague with books Ha ha!”. (Both are inadvisable, not to mention very difficult to pull off …so leave it to the professionals…OK?). It also has a bright commercial keyboard motif playing throughout. It reminded me of Marilyn Manson or even Soft Cell, and was also somewhat reminiscent of John Carpenter (an earlier track “Trash” reminded me a little of Carpenters classic “Halloween”).

There is a “Deluxe Edition” available…..which your industrious correspondent took the liberty of listening to. It has double the tracks and double the playing time. The extra tracks are apparently culled from assorted unreleased material recorded by VAC over the years, and include such family friendly titles as “Despotic”, ”Damnation”, “Kill Me”, “Operating Table in Hell” and “Severed Synapse”. I found them somewhat weaker than the main album but otherwise they feel right at home.

On both versions of the album the tracks are for the most part high tempo, rhythmic, atmospheric, super danceable, and therefore perfect fodder for any dance floor -especially of the “alternative” variety. They mostly have that aforementioned semi-whispered eerie vocal style which will go down well in any goth club, but they don’t really have  all that much meat (or at least variety) to them. “It’s not the same….it’s not the same” is the refrain Anderson hisses on the opening track “Conviction” (which opens with a Bow-Wow-Wow/Adam Ant “Burundi Beat” clashing drum-sticks beat…..but I am sure to a lot of people it very much will be…..

For myself however, this is only my second review for The Independent Voice. Unlike my first (Greek Cypriot naval gazing, prog trio Isla Fortuna), I think I will be playing this album again -perhaps several times……and I can imagine it growing on me.

Reviewed by: JASON STONE
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