Music Review: Albatross/Vestal Claret – Kissing Flies/Black Priest

By Peter Kotikalapudi

Albatross should be not be strangers to all those who follow this website. They have been featured here, here and here all in the past year.

Albatross has released a split album with Vestal Claret, an Occult/Heavy Metal band from USA. Their new EP “The Kissing Flies” is also a concept release like their previous EP “Dinner is You”. It is about “a town which is on the verge of death and is infested by demonic flies”. The highlight of the EP for me the title track. The 10 minute opus grabbed my attention for the entire time as I wanted to know what happens next in the story. “Uncle Sunny at the Tavern”, the first single from the Ep is another ripping track. I remember listening to it live when they performed it for them first time; you cannot help but headbang to the song and sing along especially during the chorus, “Raptorsville is dying!!!”. Niklas Stalvind (Wolf) pulls off the character of “Uncle Sunny” really well.

The new material has elements of Thrash metal in it which could be due to the addition of the new guitarists, Vignesh and Nishith to their line-up. Both of them are more than able guitarists and give Albatross the “old school” sound that was missing on their previous release. The EP also sounds great courtesy Niklas Stalvind (Wolf) who has mixed it. The song length (the shortest of the 3 songs is just under 7 minutes) might be a hindrance to some but the story will keep them glued. However, I feel the EP features a few too many guests (Murari Vasudevan, Niklas Stalvind and The Demonstealer) and it takes away the attention from a really good release. Albatross have really progressed from their previous release “Dinner is You” and I wonder what tale of horror they will release next.

Vestal Claret is an occult metal project of Phil Swanson (Seamount, Hour of 13, Briton Rites,Earthlord, Atlantean Kodex and many more ). He started it in 2005 with Simon Tuozzoli.

Their side of the album consists of just one track “Black Priest”, which is 17 minutes long and broken up into 3 parts. It starts out like a typical doom metal song and picks up pace during the 2nd part, when you hear the following verse, it is bound to send chills up your spine.

When you lay your head against me
For some comfort when your faint
Wont be longs as your to soon see
Youll get no pious from this saint

The simple arrangement of the song along with Phil’s vocals leaves you in a trance. It can be described in one word, EPIC. I had not heard of Vestal Claret prior to this and was blown away the track. I can go on about “Black Priest” but I think its best that you stop reading this review now, listen to it and experience it for yourself.

Pick up a copy of the “Kissing Flies/Black Priest” cd from Roadcrew Records or pick it up from Albatross when they play at your city in the next couple of months.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Solar Deity‘s In The Name Of Satan

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