Oakland's Bädr Vogu continue the grand tradition of Bay Area sludge begun by their filthy forebears in the likes of Noothgrush and Dystopia, while dragging the genre down to new depths of depravity. This summer saw the release of their Agglomeration MMXIV tour tape via Transylvania Tapes, compiling their split with Seattle's Wilt, and two new filth-encrusted tracks.
first of the new tracks, 'Traitor', kicks off with the wailing of
sirens and the howling of feedback, before the drums crash in, soon
followed by vocalist Sean's putrid screams. This track has heavy Grief
vibes, the main riff allowing the twin guitars to weave in and out of
one another to hypnotic effect.
They follow this with
'Anathema Of Time', a truly anguished slab of sludge, the bass growling
menacingly beneath the steady chug of guitars and cavernous vocals,
which call to mind Thorr's Hammer here. They switch things up a few
times throughout the track, incorporating skull-rattling blastbeats and
ripping guitar solos into their fetid murk, with neither element feeling
out of place. It's a direction they would do well to explore further on
The few tracks from the Wilt split
are as vicious as ever, with 'Gospel Of Greed' is a phrase familiar to
anyone sickened by the sort of white-collar criminals glorified in the
movie Wall Street, which is itself sampled in the track's intro. The
stuttering stop-start rhythm of the track backs lyrics like "Slaving our
lives away, the world bled dry for others gain. The many exist in
poverty, while the few prosper in luxury". Dystopia themselves couldn't
have said it better. Tumbling drums and lurching guitars lead into a
downright groovy riff as Sean's scorched-earth vocals implore the
listener to bite the hand that feeds. The vehemence heard in this track
alone puts Bädr Vogu miles ahead of many other bands plowing similar
They take things down a notch on
'Apparitions', beginning with sombre guitar and the eerie strains of a
lone violin, before a sample I recognise as one of my favourite pieces
of dialogue from the show Six Feet Under. It's an unremittingly bleak
intro, befitting the track's subject matter of loss and loneliness. The
bulk of the song itself is a agonising crawl through the darkest depths
of doom, before an almost folkish interlude leads into closing track
'Born Into This'.
The flurry of drums and ripping riffs
that comprise the opening minute are far from indicative of the
majority of the track, as it quickly shifts down a gear to a driving
Brainoil-esque chug, and eventually slows all the way down to a
sickening sway before dying in the throes of distortion and feedback.
While the tape itself is almost sold out,
you can still grab the tracks as a pay-what-you-like download from
Transylvania Tapes HERE.
Bädr Vogu on Bandcamp | Facebook
This review originally appeared over at The Sleeping Shaman.