VHOL – Deeper Than Sky (2015, Profound Lore)
The supergroup that is VHOL delivers again the product of a real supergroup and not just a record of big known names making average music that will sell. With Mike Scheidt (YOB) on vocals, two ex-Ludicra of John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune) and Aesop Dekker (Agalloch) together with bassist Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Amber Asylum) we are in for what a metal album should sound like.
With a basis of speed metal recalling the latest DarkThrone releases, Deeper Than Sky goes way beyond simple pastiche of metal genres and copy-paste passages. It is a record that blends so much that it forms itself a whole. There’s an intensity and also a song structure that at first seems homogeneous and a bit flat but with subsequent listens and attentive ears the complexity unfolds like Voivod’s progressive metal. As much as I diged into YOB’s Clearing The Path To Ascend last year and Scheidt’s masterful means. With VHOL, he brings completely something else to the table and it is just as satisfying if not even better.
In fact, as much as I like Mastodon and their take on Rock/Metal, I think that VHOL is a far better act and keeps every aspect of their music consistent and surprising at every turn. This is the kind of album I would be glad to take and go to war with which means I would defend this album and introduce it to anyone. Even none metal fans. It speaks to the depth and heaviness (read here weight more than loud music) of this release.