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Vonnis - Bikini Season

Bikini Season
by Louise Brown at 24 June 2019, 2:44 PM

VONNIS has been around since 2015. They are located in Ghent, Belgium and are considered to be a band with a rather eclectic style and sound; think Hard Rock meets Punk Rock meets Death Metal meets Black Metal. The result may sound too unpleasant to contemplate, but it's actually the complete opposite. If you like any of the genres I mentioned then you'll probably be able to consider yourself a VONNIS fan once you've heard their music for yourself. The band is also known for stage performances that can and have resulted in bodily injuries to the band members; dislocated shoulders as well as open leg fractures are mentioned in their press kit bio. After listening to their debut album "Bikini Season," I have no trouble believing that. The energy level on the release is impossible to describe, but I will do my best.

"Into The Hive" starts out the album with lots of distortion and noise. The music sort of creeps along and buzzes as the track plays. It gets progressively heavier after a couple of minutes, especially when the vocals begin with a Black Metal tone and style. The resulting contrast between the singer's voice and the Doom Metal-influenced backing music is nothing short of great. "REPEAT-DELETE" features a frantic-sounding guitar hook which quickly fades into the chaos created by the other instruments joining in. The vocals on the track have a sound closer to Punk Rock which crosses over into Hardcore Metal territory at times. The change of pace which happens within the song causes a disorientating sensation similar to getting caught in deep mud or quicksand. Just when you think you're stuck it suddenly ends. I know others will also appreciate that because it's always fun when a band manages to mess with your perception a little bit.

"Bikini Season" gets your attention immediately with bizarre-sounding guitars, thrashing percussion, intense bass and hectoring vocals. The song's pace is extremely fast and its tone disorganized in a really good way. It's fast, brutal and brief. "Inside" is the one track that I didn't care for. The overall sound of it didn't appeal to me nearly as much as all of the other songs. It's not exactly horrible; it's simply not as good as everything else on the album.

 I could go on and on about the rest of the remaining tracks. However, for the sake of time, I'll stick to the ones that are my favorites. "Ojos Brilliantes" is terrific with melodic riffs combined with raw, harsh-sounding vocalizations. The song is powered by driving percussion as well as a good bass-line. The track's tone is very appealing as it manages to balance between hardcore and melodic styles almost effortlessly. "Evil. Again" is a distinct change from the rest of the material on the album. It has a really dark quality to it that is reminiscent of classic Death Metal with a slightly more modern edge. The guitar riffs and hooks are flawless. They give the song an atmosphere that creates just the right touch of doom and gloom. I like the song so much that I stopped it halfway through on my first listen just so I could start it over again. Damned good tune! The last of my favorites is "Love Letters, Never Sent".  It reminds me a great deal of some SUICIDAL TENDENCIES songs that I used to listen to years ago. It's rapid-paced, pissed off, and one of the best tracks I've heard in a very long time.

I am still surprised by how much I ended up enjoying "Bikini Season".  It's got its own unique character and a style that will appeal to non-Metal fans as well as dedicated metal-heads. If you're looking for some summertime music then definitely add this album to your list.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Into The Hive
3. Bikini Season
4. Inside
5. Ojos Brillantes
6. Noisedown (bonus)
7. Evil. Again
8. Doppelganger
9Love Letters, Never Sent
1o. I n Sanity
Ruben Lammertyn-  Vocals, electronics
Maxim Rouquart-  Guitar
Niels Brown- Guitar* (on the album)
Doc Negro-  Bass
Gregory Simms-  Drums
Record Label: Hypertension Records


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Edited 06 October 2022

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