Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Generation Of Vipers-Howl and Filth

Translation Loss Records

Knoxville, TN three-piece Generation Of Vipers is made up of members of U.S. Christmas and A Storm of Light. According to their Myspace bio the band was formed in April of 2004 and solidified a permanent line-up in September of 2004. They hit the scene (playing out live that is)in the early months of 2005 and issued their self-released album "Grace" the same year. In 2007 the band released "Dead Circle" and now we have their new album, "Howl and Filth", which is made up of 6 tracks of various lengths. This is also the band's Translation Loss debut and it was recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios in Salem. Since their own bio also mentions that they have been referred to by some as "Dark Metal", "Dark Rock", "Post-Metal", "Ambient Sludge" and a psychedelic version of Crowbar that seems like a good place to start. The music itself borrows themes often heard in all of the above "genres" while it also seems to have come from a place that some of us used to just call "alternative metal". Where was that place? Well, the map itself was lost back in the eighties or nineties so if someone was to go looking for it I suspect they would have a hard time locating it. Of course it's an easy enough cop-out to just throw some generic label on Generation Of Vipers, but honestly they have an old familiar sound that still retains enough originality as to avoid throwing out obvious band names. While I'm being fairly cryptic on the music, other than to say it is ambient and dark, the vocals used here are almost death metal in nature. So, while the music is more dark sludge rock/metal with psychedelic doom elements (how's that for a description?) the vocals are harsh and punishing like old-school death metal. That makes "Howl and Filth" all the more menacing and worthwhile.

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