Listening Lately: Vestal Claret (Again!) and Drainbow

It’s gettin’ hot in the late July blogosphere….  Today we’ve got Vestal Claret’s just-released remix of their 2011 debut album Bloodbath and Drainbow’s upcoming LP The Tower of Flints blaring from the laptop speakers.

Vestal Claret is a band that pushes boundaries; they were doing occult metal before its trendy resurgence, as early as 2006.  Bloodbath is dripping in Satanic sex rituals, now given added sonic clarity with the new remix and master.  Multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Tuozzoli is a professional audio engineer who has handled recording and mixing duties for the band throughout its tenure.  I guess he figured after a decade or so, he had learned some new tricks!  This version has been remastered by Arthur Rizk, who you may know from his work with Code Orange, Power Trip, and this really awesome band called Owl Maker.  Fun fact, vocalist Phil Swanson actually used these lyrics on an Hour of 13 record after writing them for VC, but before Bloodbath was released.

But enough factoids.  If you prefer the heavy version of Vestal Claret (a la The Cult of Vestal Claret) as opposed to the new “medieval folk” version, Bloodbath’s trad metal blasphemy will satisfy your craving.  (And I’m not kidding about blasphemy, Phil is literally singing about masturbation and semen in one tune…) Get on it!

Next up we’ve got the new one from Drainbow, The Tower of Flints — a quick succession from multi-instrumentalist and composer Nick Sarcophagus’s 2019 EP Crystal Myth.  The press release says Drainbow is “hardly experimental,” but it sounds pretty freaking experimental if you ask me.  I tried to get some of the blog’s more broad-minded writers to review this, but ain’t nobody gettin’ paid around here….  So it’s up to the editor! 

Opening track “Funeral for an Imaginary Rabbit” was a hard listen for me at first, but it grew to remind me of Devin Townsend’s bombastic storylines and orchestrations.  This evolved into “Lair of the Night Gaunt,” which saw your Devin Townsend and raised you one Obscura.  “The Inevitable Tautology of Defeat” draws on some Scandinavian metal influences; the album got more accessible from there on, or maybe I just got more used to Drainbow’s eclectic style.  Certainly, this is an ambitious and multifaceted work — especially for one guy to pull off!  If you like your metal a little out of the ordinary, get The Tower of Flints on your wishlist for the next Bandcamp Friday — which is conveniently the album’s release date.

What have you been listening to lately?  Leave a comment!

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