"Speaking about heavy metal …… and big names as well, like for example, Philip Swanson (from Hour of 13, Briton Rites, Seamount, Atlantean Kodex, etc. …) here is another ultra-cool gift from Doommantia: the 2009 EP Lost Loved Ones, plus three bonus tracks, by Vestal Claret for free download.
US-based Vestal Claret has been one of the most obscure Heavy Metal acts populating the underground.
As Philip Swanson refers on the blog of the NoVisible Scars label, the band started in 2005 as an occult heavy metal/death rock project among friends. The original planned line-up should have included Phil Swanson on vocals and friends Matt Moran on guitars, Paul Wise on bass and Adam Kosmin on drums. But apparently problems of fitting things together soon rose. You can read Phil’s complete tormented story of the band here.
Vestal Claret disbanded in 2009 and Philip Swanson devoted himself to Seamount and went back to Hour Of 13.
Vestal Claret’s style has been described as Anti-Christian, Occult, Satanic heavy metal/hard rock inspired by a loooong list of massive rock and metal bands of any time, but especially NWOBHM, Angel Witch and Christian Death’s first album “Only Theater Of Pain”.
The tracks of the Lost Loved Ones EP were originally recorded to be a part of a split with Hour Of 13 which was never completed. Instead it was released as a very limited edition red chrome cassette tape that is by now sold out.
So, as Ed on Doomantia pointed out, this EP is very much a collectors item in its original format but luckily Phil Swanson has agreed to circulate this EP once more, this time via a free download with the inclusion of unreleased cover songs!
So here you’ll find the EP stuff in a single +25 minutes long track plus cover arts of the tape edition. Exclusive to this free download are also three additional, super-cool covers songs from Thelema, Skin Yard, and Lubricated Goat.
The line-up playing in this tracks should be the one with Swanson along with Simon Tuozzoli on guitars and bass, Tim Schmidt on guitars and additional sounds and Mike Petrucci on drums.
Here’s some literature about the EP tracks from Hellride Music webzine:
“Opener “Devils Daughters” begins with a narrative description of satanic child abuse set to an ominous background build up that could have been cheesy but actually pulls off a heavy creepiness element. And when the guitars (courtesy of Simon Tuozzoli and Tim Schmidt) kick in both the heaviness and creepiness meters go all the way red. An almost doom metal intro shortly gives way to a chugging riff overlaid with a searing lead, soon joined by Swanson’s Ozzy’s ghost wailing vocals, all of it carrying an oppressive and downright claustrophobic feel to it that is well set off by the urgent and crisp drums of Mike Petrucci. And all that works extremely well. There are downright searing guitar harmonies slammed against lead weight riffing, drum cannons to the left and right, vocals desperate and evil, and bass pulsing and malevolent. This is metal as it was meant to be folks.
Next up “Endurement to the heirs of Shame” turns down the fever pitch a bit, mixing a black soup of sorrow and menace. Powerful and purveying some seriously doomy atmospherics equally well in both cast iron riffs and a soft but very plaintive vocal section.
“Missing Girl” adds another seriously dark tale to the tally and has some sections where the explosive combination of metal riffing and soloing in downright exemplary, before fading on a magnificent and heroic outro. All throughout this ep the songwriting is just unwaveringly top shelf. “Call to Satan” rounds out the ep, in the same vein as, and of the same caliber as, its predecessors…heavy, dark, powerful and extremely well written. Seriously, I just can’t recommend this enough, a true dark metal jewel.”
After listening to this stuff I cannot but agree with Ed’s consideration: “how this band didn't make it big in the underground metal scene is both a mystery and a tragedy”.
It is sad to see how great talent like this has been virtually ignored when bands like Ghost are exploding in a day. No doubts that the mysterious Ghost band is great, I liked them very much when I saw them in London.
But let’s put it like this: if you liked Ghost and you dig genuine, heart-filling heavy metal and haunting rock, you’ll LOVE this stuff …"
(Thanks to Phil Swanson and to Doommantia for sharing!)http://sludgeswamp.blogspot.com/2010/11/speaking-about-heavy-metal.html
(SOLD OUT)SCAR OO1: Transcendent Device- The Hoplessness Of Logic- C-52 / 50 Copies
"Existential pain ambient from Transcendent Device. This music is actually quite good on this cassette tape. Very dark ambient with noise elements, sometimes reminding me of the experimental parts on Death In June records. The sound on here overall is very bleak with existential themes, but can often be very beautiful in fact. The artwork for this is a large image of a man with his head in his hands, ala the famous Minor Threat album cover. This is likely not an homage to Minor Threat however, as these guys do not seem either particularly loyal to punk rock music or the straight edge movement. In fact, this entire record is dedicated to a deceased child (4/06-6/06), which is pretty sobering by itself.
Most of the tracks on here blend in to one another, making one solid trembling miasma of ambient noise. Occasionally a sustained tone holds for a very long time and the effect is quite surprising and beautiful. Some of the tones even achieve a nice temporary residence that reminds me of some of the sounds Dylan Carlson gets on the early Earth records, probably one of my favorite artists of all time. The tones do not sustain though, they drift in an out of an existential void of nothingness. This idea of the void or nothingness seems to be fairly important to this project, with the very bleak song titles and overall feeling of emptiness.
This is definitely not a doom trip though, there is a lot more going on here than just straightforward overt depression music. This really belongs to a style of music that doesn't quite fit into any particular individual category. Could appeal to fans of ambient music just as easily as it could to fans of Industrial and Noise, with a bleakness and mournful quality that is almost gothic in vibe. Not doom, but check this out if you are into doom because this is the true music of sorrow and loss. Not emotional, not for crying, this is cold and illogical walls of ambient delivering harsh truth of the pain of life. Depressing!"