It’s going to be hard to talk about this album without throwing around all sorts of genre tags. Expect to see things like “post”, “shoe gaze”, “ambient”, and “atmospheric” peppered around this review. Perhaps even a mash up of them all. “Post shoe gaze ambient atmospheric black metal.” Wow, look at that tag. I wonder how music would be described without genre tags. Probably just my usual, “this shit is fucking awesome all over” description. However, Vagrond does incapsulate all of those concepts, but maybe in a different manner? That’s what I think.
Vagrond, hailing from Australia, use black metal as the base but strip out all the dissonance, leaving only the melody and guitar work. They add in a healthy does of ambiance, shoe gaze styled, echo-y clean vocals, and a shit ton of melancholy. “Hey dude, that sounds like DSBM or Black Gaze to me.” Sure enough, on paper, it does sound like that, and sure combining those elements will give you that particular sound but Vagrond seem to not really fall into either category. Mostly because of the beautiful distant vocals, and the heavy leaning on more progressive and technical playing showing up halfway through the album. It’s interesting to hear it work out in what you’d expect to be a typical post black metal or DSBM way, and then not really be that. It even get’s marginally death metal at points. But more melodic in nature than guttural or brutal.
It’s eclectic nature and experimentation really make this album stand out and serve it wonderfully. For fans of highly infectious, beautiful forms of extreme metal. Also, get a gander at that cover art. Mag-fucking-nificent.
And guess what else? You can get it for any price you want at the band’s Bandcamp page.