Vessel Of Light – Woodshed (album)

Release date: 21st September 2018 || Genre: Doom/Stoner metal || Label: Argonauta Records

It’s hard to tell where Vessel Of Light take their queues from. Their concoction of Alice In Chains‘ sludgy grunge and old school Danzig-isms, play backdrop to a story dripping with swampy, rural slasher imagery. Some chapters spin a yarn of doom. Others build upon character with almost hair metal leads. Digging into the history of the constituent members helps to provide some illumination. Although Dan Lorenzo was originally known for his involvement in Hades (churning out classic metal/thrash since I was born!), his other projects, Non-Fiction and The Cursed bear much more in common with VOL. Partner in crime Nathan Opposition also brings a lot of his Ancient VVisdom doomy darkness to the table.

Despite Lorenzo’s long time served, this is a very current seeming band, in terms of what releases are coming out on the doom/stoner/psych scene. Or maybe it’s because of it. It’s not as if this is the first time the sound has been in favour. All genres rise and fall with the tides of opinion, so having been around the block, he’s sure to have dug up the bones on at least one occasion. Come to think of it, I’d hate to have to make the call as to which party is actually more responsible for the end result; the more experienced Lorenzo, or the fresher “occult-doom only” Opposition. It’s an audible possibility that they decided to make sure each was allowed the space for equal contribution to the creative process.

At the end of the day, this is all guess work and mental exercise over a piece of art. It’s cool as a finished project, and it certainly makes you think about the historical overlap of various sub-genres. And good art should, arguably, make you think. However, it doesn’t venture too far from the haunting, ramshackle hut at the heart of its sound. While I’d be keen to hear more variety, this does provide a comforting unity, which carries the concept of the album well. As a first full-length, it is a great introduction. Possibly, diversity will develop over the course of further endeavours. Even if it doesn’t, it’ll definitely be worth trekking back out to the shed.

Grade: B+

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