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Vital Spirit – Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind

Vital Spirit
Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind
by Ricardo Casagrande at 26 July 2022, 10:26 PM

This Canadian duo creates what they call Black metal from the west with their first full-length album, Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind. With vocalist and guitarist Kyle Tarares from British Columbia and Quebec Drummer Israel Langlais, they come together to create a Thrash-influenced form of Black metal. Formed in 2020, they released a four-track EP shortly after called In the Faith That Looks Through Death. Now they look to carry the momentum into their newest release.

The album opens with “Blood and Smoke” and is written about the devilish ploy of stealing the lands of the natives using lies and deceit. A harsh and raspy vocal style commands the tragedy as the pounding drums drive the song through before finishing up with some spaghetti western style guitar and horns to complete the song. A strong aspect to the lyrics of the band seems to be historic facts and actions that they use to intensify the emotion in the music. This also plays dividends on the track “Bad Hand” that outlines the details of a late-night raid and the chilling frantic chaos that is created. The drums take hold of the track “Dawn Of Liberty” with sporadic blast-beats matched with marching like snare drums. This song includes a pretty creative duo of double bass and the guitar, which is set to an old school western movie sequence, that fits itself in nicely before a Black metal riff and machinegun drums pound the ending into dust.

After the death of an untouchable chief, the war takes a turn in “Withering Fire”. The guitar in this song is a mash of a ferociously paced Black metal riff and an American style uplifting battle riff. A classic acoustic guitar instrumental is paired with some light drums and maintains a western feel to it with the track “Saccharine Sky”. A raspy soul gripping screech hovers above tremorous guitar picking and an assault on the snare drum in “White Eyes”. The last song on the release is “Lord Of The Plains” and comes into effect with crunchy trembling bass that shakes the track while the drums converge with the strong rhythm. There are a couple of strong guitar riffs that stand out on this track whether it being destructive or more subdued and very catchy picking. It is a strong showing from everything included in the song that makes for a very enjoyable listen.

The vocals, although they have a place and are well written while displaying the withering lack of trust within humanity, are not for my liking. The songs are killer though and are very easy to listen to given the heavy assault they inflict but are produced well and everything comes across very clear. If the band intends to stick to historical events for vocal inspirations, there shouldn’t be much delay until we have more material to hear from this Canadian duo.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Blood And Smoke
2. Bad Hand
3. Dawn Of Liberty
4. The Long Walk
5. Withering Fire
6. Saccharine Sky
7. White Eyes
8. Lord Of The Plains
Kyle Tavares – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Israel Langlais – Drums
Record Label: Hidden Tribe Records


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