It was in 2012 that the first sightings of the creature were reported. The emergence of a decrepit sounding three track demo, unearthed in darkest Sweden caused fevered excitement among the populace, even attracting the attention of renowned purveyor of filth Fenriz. After a period of dormancy, some hoped the horror had abated but 2014 sees the return of the monster for real, on a mission to tear throats and drain the land of poseurs through the medium of the thirty-six minute “Vampire”, a record nasty and bloody enough to wake the dead.
A death metal record that acts as if the past 25 years had never happened is nothing new in these times and as soon as you hit play on opening track ‘Orexis’, you are hurled all the way back to the late 80s where Bathory, Slayer and Death reigned supreme and lived their lives with utter disregard for decency and normality, as if they could die that night and would do so with a smile on their face, leaving decidedly rotten looking corpses. Vampire’s modus operandi is lo-fi thrashy death metal done the way their heroes intended with just the right amount of punkish swagger and dark brooding atmosphere to ensure that any accusations of them being yet another nostalgia cash-cow are as irrelevant as any Dracula movie that doesn’t star Christopher Lee.
The likes of the breakneck and fantastically titled ‘At Midnight I’ll Possess Your Corpse’ are so good, with their seemingly endless bag of stake-sharp riffs that you’ll want to stay up all night and never grow old, just so you can have as much fun as the band seem to be having. There’s infectious melody flowing throughout the album’s undead veins that manifests in the likes of the shape-shifting ‘The Bestial Abyss’ and the darkly enchanting ‘Black Deserts’ which has more than just a hint of the Swedish 90s black metal scene in its mischievous and darting leads.
In fact, there’s such a strong grasp of so many subgenres on display throughout “Vampire” from the NWOBHM-gone-bad stomp of ‘Howl From the Coffin’ and the fuck off punk sneer of ‘Jaws of the Unknown’ that it’s easy to imagine the four members of Vampire swooping off into the night to drain their local talent pool dry. While the truth, that they’re just rather disgustingly talented young lads with extensive record collections is far more mundane, it won’t stop you enjoying this debut release far more than should be possible. A true howl from the underground that deserves to hail long and loud.