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When fronted with the black/thrash variant of metal, and seeing as the band hails from Norway, I expected something maybe in the lines of Aura Noir, Sarcoma Inc or perhaps Iskald. But Vesen isn’t as basic as the former, not as raw as the middle nor as melodic as the latter one, but with the truth lying somewhere closer to that of the two first options. In fact, this is by far more thrash than black, and on occasion the thrash completely outshines the black completely.
Thrash metal is definitely not my favourite genre, and the few bands of the style I actually enjoy are as I said few; very few. So for me to somewhat objectively review a thrash album is extremely difficult, ‘cause pretty much every thought I’ll have will be based on the fact that I don’t like the genre. But, to me Vesen sounds a bit like a mix between the two previously mentioned acts Aura Noir and Sarcoma Inc, but with a good dose of Abigail of Japan as well as some of the older acts of Germany. That’s the closest I’m gonna get, but then again someone with a better ear for things might feel completely different. Tough noogies, this is my judgment.
The production of Goat carcass rising sounds quite modern with a clean and semi-digital touch, but the product itself feels much dirtier, rawer and old school. Flairs of both speed and more classically laid heavy metal occur on a few tracks, just as the sloppy-sounding riffing reeks of 80ies thrash metal. But when I say ‘sloppy’ I don’t mean sloppy and crudely executed, but more of a rougher feel of times when it wasn’t all that important if you knew how to play perfectly, just as long as you had the right heart for it. The guys of Vesen know how to both write and execute slick and sleek metal, but with the same devotion and emotions the youngsters of yore had. That’s what makes these guys stand out from the crowd.
Nonetheless, I still don’t get it. The choirs that pop up every now and then really packs a punch, the faster sections that offer aggression and somewhat of a brutal touch are ferociously effective, just as some of the riffing whips up melodies that are just supreme. The industrial-sounding black metal vocals in To the braves and the awesome lyrics of Famous last words are such quirks that really adds something special to a song. Vocally it’s otherwise some kind of blackened thrash scream, with a great raspy undertone, fitting in perfectly with the musical recipe. But overall this sounds just like most thrash metal bands to me, with the aforementioned exception that this has some real energy and emotion to it. There are plenty of tempo changes to go around, and they cover everything from the punkiest to the harshest riff. The performance is great, the devotion comes through in writing and the song structures are varied, but it’s simply put just not for me.
Originally written for My Last Chapter