Friday, March 13, 2009

V.E.G.A. - Alienforest - A Sick Mind's Hologram (Debemur Morti, 2009)

V.E.G.A. - Neongraphite

V.E.G.A. (or Vacuum Era Gelid Atmosphere) are 3 dudes from Italy who challenge my vocabulary and descriptive skills. I've had Alienforest - A Sick Mind's Hologram for a little while now, listening to it probably more than I should, hoping that I would reach some sort of epiphany and be able to describe to you all the craziness of this record. That epiphany never came but that won't stop me from sharing this gem with the world.

Just so you know what ballpark we're playing in, Alienforest is a black metal record (originally their debut, a self released tape in 2000, reissued on CD by Debemur Murti this year). The thing is, there's so much synth weirdness going on, that very often this strays about as far from black metal as a you can get while still retaining the BM label. Usually, BM is scary. Like said band are literally demons spawned from Satan himself, put on Earth with the sole purpose of making the most terrifying music ever. But while V.E.G.A. have some of those nightmarish qualities, they're just so fucked up that instead of being scared, I'm just confused.

There are elements of grindcore, thrash, and death metal, as well as bits of techno, all laid over a black metal foundation. It seems like there's enough bizarre black metal bands out there that you could probably make a sub-genre combining all of the various BM offshoots. But V.E.G.A. take it to the next level and create something that I have literally never heard before and doubt will ever hear again. It's so fucking extreme and weird, which (obviously) means it's that fucking awesome.

My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that Alienforest is so god damn long. At 1 hour and 10 minutes, it's about as long as a CD can get. Don't get me wrong, when I love something, I'd like it to last as long as possible but Alienforest is different. I have not once been able to listen to the whole thing all the way through in one sitting. Sometimes I get distracted and end up doing something else or just get tired and need to listen to something else or whatever the case may be, I just think this one's a bit too long for one record.

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