Vic (they/them) – vocals, drums
KW (he/they) – vocals, guitar, drums, percussion
01 – Harbinger of Nothing
02 – When the Path is Unclear
03 – You Who Has Never Slept
04 – Glory Glory!
05 – Apathy Took Helm!
VILE CREATURE, the weird and wonderful “queer kids with lofty ambitions” from Hamilton, Ontario, will soon be gifting us with what I can only describe as a masterpiece of an E.P entitled Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!
While their previous records dealt with pain; its source and the affirmation that hardship can lead to creative vibrancy, with this new record, the band launch into a valiant foray against the pitfalls of Nihilism and the resistance against apathy. They have been pushing the boundaries of their own creativity as well as searching deep within their own psyches. The sardonic title of the album is a tongue-in-cheek declaration of intention reflected even in the album’s baby-blue cover and bloody- and- bougie floral arrangements.
Although the band label themselves as “Sludge Doom”, I would describe them more as ‘Doom Metal’s dirtier, punkier, younger brother’, as the Sludge is strong throughout but this album straddles several different musical genres, such as; folk, melodic death metal and… ecclesiastical?
The opening track “Harbinger of Nothing” (which first emerged on an Adult Swim compilation in 2019 and was re-recorded for the album) has an unexpectedly raw start with deep intense screams which immediately grabs your attention, the tracks then seem to slow down slightly, showing a deeper darker edge to the band, with one of my favourite tracks being ‘ Glory Glory! which has a very atmospheric affair, with ethereal vocals from vocalist Laurel Minnes (who first collaborated with the band on “A Pessimistic Doomsayer”), and her choir, “Minuscule.” With the plaintive, occasional, strum of a guitar as an accompaniment, the song creates an otherworldly emotion, like medieval gregorian chanting. This track completely sets the tone for the rest of the album as a collection of wonderful unexpected musical and thematic directions, blending a multitude of singing styles, and taking the listener on a journey where each turn is designed to delight.
The album still holds heavy, gritty doom sounds throughout but it is softened by some delicate folk and melodic overtones, creating an atmosphere akin to a grandiose pagan ritual. Considering the album was recorded in the seclusion of a cabin in the mountains, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone.
The band describes the album’s climax as a “culmination of composite parts-tangible and intangible,” which is a fair assessment, considering how masterfully Vile Creature seems to blend opposite musical elements: alchemy in its truest form.
Vic’s guttural vocals really come into their own during end track “Apathy Took Helm!,” where the tone takes a markedly darker vibe. I have a great fondness of high-pitched screeching since it appears to glide over the heavy, chugging bass. This is by far the “sludgiest” track of the record, managing to really fulfil the need for some serious heaviness. Without it, I think the record would lose dimension, since the angelic voices of the choir, lovely as they are, would not sound half as angelic without deranged screams to accompany them.
I was moved and enthralled by this album. Vile Creature is unique, astounding, thought-provoking, and, above all, fantastically unconventional. Go buy their record!