Review: “Place Of Anarchy” by Vesicarum

Hailing from Kent Death Metal outfit Vesicarum have been on our horizons since last years EP “Reign Of Terror“, a concept release of sorts running on sinister lyrical tales of serial killers, having originally begun back in 2016 as a solo project before they fleshed out to a full band in 2018. Still citing influences in Entombed, Obituary and Morbid Angel, since that release they have gone from a quintet to a trio with guitarist James Thompson and bassist Orla Blue Reed exiting stage left, leaving guitarist Martin Shipton, vocalist Glynn Neve and drummer Donal McGee to soldier on. The album was recorded at Martin Shipton’s home studio, with the exception of vocals (recorded at Squarehead Studio by Graham Waller, who also mixed and mastered the LP). What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, as they say…

…This time out the cuts are far more personal with each track getting progressively darker as the album plays out, opening track “Rightfully Mine” seeing Neve spilling his guts about suicidal thoughts with his signature vocal style over some prime slabs of Death Metal riffage before “My Inner Ghost” turns up the intensity with the sinister churning riffs of “Dark Days” era Coal Chamber. The addition of leads and a brilliantly Gothic piano part are stunning but its the weight of conviction in the lyrics that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Experiences of suffering long lasting depression run through the heart of the album and the integrity with which those experiences are told here will resonate like the sound of a bell from across the harbour for anyone who has been through it themselves, with a deepening sense of foreboding inevitability about it. Glynne Neve has a unique and distinctive vocal style that for anyone who has heard Adam Frakes-Sime of Stampin’ Ground or Romeo Must Die fame will understand, an unclean wet bark with which he roars through the lyrics with venomous intent. The title track is one of a couple of moments that step away from the pain, instead focuses on an inner desire to return to something more familiar with a real sense of longing, the easily chant able lyrics will no doubt go down in front of an audience, as will the headbangable staccato riffs. The band do not suffer from having just one guitarist here and while they have used some guitar layering to build in solos and such, for considerable parts of the record it isn’t used, which perhaps points the way to not needing an additional player going forward.

Despite the personal lyrics, the earlier tracks remain great fun here, especially with the throat severing roars of “Mental Stupidity” avoiding gallows humour and instead injecting energy into the riffs. Death Metal is infused with Hardcore Punk for “Sense Of Shame” which lifts the tempo for a gallop through old school territories like a rumble in the jungle before James Dawson lends his throat to the slow burning “Great Decay“, a sombre affair with a pinch less desperation the in lyrics, it hits like the cold light of day after a sleepless night of useless thoughts. Dawnson hits like a Juggernaut broadsiding a motorcycle; there are no survivors. As if that wasn’t dark enough, mournful “Through The Darkest Days” with its almost blues lead and heart wrenching clean vocals sees death clearly through bloodshot eyes with a sense of survival that made the 1993 movie about the 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains “Alive” what it is. No one is sure how they pulled through and if they wanted to but there is a dull ache of release at knowing you’re still with humanity, having been lost in the system and to the World for what seems like a lifetime. Having Mumbi India based Sahil Makhija on “Am I To Blame” is a moment of brilliance and unlike some releases of late, each of the quartet of guests makes their presence felt in the best way possible, by enhancing what Vesicarum have created, embellishing it with additional qualities which the band don’t have themselves [7.5/10]

  1. Rightfully Mine (feat. Richard Kane)
  2. My Inner Ghost
  3. The Pain I Feel (feat. Joe Lyndon of Dorylus and Helgrind)
  4. Place Of Anarchy
  5. Mental Stupidity
  6. Sense Of Shame
  7. Great Decay (feat. James Dawson of Bleed Again)
  8. Through The Darkest Days
  9. Am I To Blame (feat. Demonstealer of Demonic Resurrection)

Place Of Anarchy” by Vesicarum is out 18th June 2021 via One Eyed Toad Records

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