Coming hot off the trails from their demo release, UK based death metal band Vacuous presents us with their massive debut release Dreams of Dysphoria. This is an incredibly crushing death metal album with some touches of doom thrown in there to create a punishing and incredibly heavy album that certainly keeps the spirit of death metal alive.
The first thing I noticed with this act is the production on the album is just like how all good death metal releases should sound. Raw, grimy, heavy. What’s a nice touch as well is just how high quality it sounds, with out ruining that raw integrity. The guitars are punishing and create enormous sound along side the bass and drums with the guttural vocals spewing out pure filth over the instrumentation. It nails what true death metal should sound. The band really pushes the melodies, with the more slow going doom style sound being on the forefront. The sense of progression is there and really compliments the song writing in general, especially when reaching those musical peaks when the blast beats come into play. I also feel like the band strikes a great balance between dark dreary atmosphere and actual songwriting. Many times a band will forget that there’s more to these types of releases than just dark production, and a scary chord thrown around, but Vacuous are able to capture a heavy atmosphere while still keeping the music diverse and interesting, with plenty of impactful sound to get through.
These guys clearly aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. These guys are putting out some incredibly hard hitting text-book death metal that doesn’t try to play any games and takes no one alive. Straight to the throat with some slower parts to boot for those truly crushing moments. My favorite touch from this release are the vocals. Hellish is the best way to describe them. There’s nothing more satisfying than to hear the crushing sounds of demonic vocals brought to this plane of existence. Another nice touch is how seamlessly the tracks transition from one to another. There’s an endless sense of flow that is achieved and each track blends into one another in a way that transports you into their twisted dreams of dysphoric nature.
The sheer amount of talent on display here cannot go unnoticed. Its been a while since I’ve heard a death metal album that reminded me of old school releases, but still sounding so fresh and new. They capture all of the right components of the genre and repackage it in a modern way that doesn’t seem cliché or over produced. This is truly an authentic death metal album to the bone, any fan of the genre should give it a listen. Definitely will be keeping an eye on the future of the band.