There are moments here so brutal and animalistic you might think the band name is a misnomer and that they are reduced at times to the aspect of ravenous quadrupeds (see "The Devil's Waiting"). But there's more to this band than seething anger. Opening track "Witch of Circumstance" combines a powerful riff with a strong vocal performance that is both melodic and forceful. Drums and vocals carry much of the weight during the verse as the guitar drops off to a simmering drone. The guitar then slips into a psychedelic lead thus revealing a wide spectrum of abilities and styles on display. And that's just the first five minutes. Talk about a statement!
"The Wizard" picks up on those psychedelic tendencies and exposes them in a blue light, crafting a slow bass-dominated psychedelic blues groove seasoned in cavernous echo framed around a Black Sabbath-like fantasy vocal. The fury then boils to the surface during the chorus, first picking up the pace, then pouring on the heaviness before kicking into a smoking lead. By now the band has come a long way moving through various shapes and styles, but the best and most memorable is yet to come.
"Viking's Witch" and title track "The Devil's Waiting" are like parts 1 & 2 of the same song, one leading into the next. "Viking's Witch" has a killer slidey riff and has a strong Red Fang feel to the vocals. The band knows how to bludgeon their way into your mind like an iron fist with a drop off and pick up syncopation during the chorus near the end of the song ("Wait! Wait! Wait!"). "The Devil's Waiting" may not be the best, but it is certainly the most memorable song of the bunch. With no time between tracks a drop in tempo and jumping straight into the verse "God damn fucking son of a bitch, she said / Who the fuck does he think he is?" it'll have you checking to make sure this isn't just another section of the same song.
Again, the band cover many hectares of musical ground on just under 22 minutes and do it within a signature framework. 'The Devil's Waiting' is a strong introduction to a band that was just a twinkle in the eyes of its founders when this blog was new (god damn, man, [sniffle] we were all so much younger then ...). The sheer volume of ideas, styles and memorable moments on this E.P. combined with a number of solid, key riffs flag Vykanthrope as one of the most promising new bands in the stoner / doom genre. Now's the time to jump on board the bandwagon (or viking ship), I would if I was you, after all I'd hate to cross swords with these animals.
Highlights include: "Witch of Circumstance" and "Viking's Witch / The Devil's Waiting"
Total Run Time: 21:44
Genre: Doom, Stoner Metal
Reminds me of: Ancient Warlocks, Breathe Fire, Earth Witch, Red Fang, Wounded Giant
Release Date: December 21, 2013
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