Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Song of the Day #316 - Vampillia - holy shit, mother fucker



I'm not really into metal at all... I'm not sure why, exactly, there's a lot of stuff I think I'd like about it: the complexity, the rawness of emotion, the ambitious structure and subject matter... but I dunno, I just could never get into it. Like some other genres I'm only tentatively into (like k-pop or country), there's this really fine line between something that feels like an authentic representation of the genre that I can invest myself into, and something that feels like a parody of the genre that I can never take seriously. Not that things I find putting into the latter category are bad or anything, but I think often they require a sort of "inner knowledge" of the genre that allows you to "have fun" with them, and see the beauty of it. Like I can imagine listening to something like Young Thug as an outsider to hip hop to the extent that I am to metal and it seeming like a parody of itself. It's a really interesting subject to me, the way the most developed parts of a genre, the things that are actually pushing boundaries, can appear to the "outside" as almost nonsensically "basic", almost "inbred", maybe.

But I digress. This is metal that I am into, but it's mostly for stupid reasons: Vampillia are signed to Virgin Babylon, my favorite record label, so I am contractually obliged to love them. Perhaps inspired by writing a short piece for last year's compilation ONE MINUTE OLDER, they put out this 4-track 8 minute total EP that I've completely fallen in love with. It's like a digest for everything I love in metal: totally wild vocals, a feeling of "relentlessness", drone, harsh noise... although some of these things often function through their endlessness or repetitiveness, the associations I have with the feelings can mentally stain me long beyond the chronological footprint.

This song is especially fantastic. The video really captures the aesthetic mood of the release, which seems to be... uhh... indescribable. Just know that this is the cover, and it's called my heart will go on, and the song titles are "fuck you", "another", "holy shit, mother fucker", and "come on feel the noise", and "come on feel the noise" is literally just noise. Reconcile that with the shot of the music video when he has those adorable little angry "poofs" around his head... if you can. It's something good, at least.

It's something sensible with the intro too, which is largely cut from the MV version... those sorta-cute, sorta-deranged vocal touches - a Virgin Babylon signature sound - so immediately contrasted by the growling vocals and full-on instrumentation, I love it. Then we get what sounds like another intro, complete with the breakdown riff, which bridges into what feels like the "meat" of the song, which itself is sectioned into two distinct arcs... the way they've managed a structure this complete in just two minutes is insane.

And it's all worth it, just for the anticipation and payoff at 1:45 (1:17 in the MV)... holy shit, that part is so amazing to me, it feels so triumphant, so climactic... the power of the simple chord progression, and the lack of vocals... I'm sure it isn't an uncommon technique in metal, this sort of twin escalation and purification, but it is maybe something that I can only "take seriously" in this strange micro-context. It really speaks to a unique power in metal, one that I find really alluring... but for now, endlessly repeating these 8 minutes is enough.

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