Man has survived the apocalypse, but Metal hasn’t. This is 2014, a mere three decades since the first roars of ‘Kill ’Em All’, and yet all we seem to hear are old and new bands “going back to the roots” while hiding behind the “old-school” tag as if this was some kind of magic armour that would prevent them from any form of criticism. But what separates the men from the boys in this (rotten) business is conviction. And no one is more dedicated to the cause than the four individuals behind the name VAMPIRE.
Of course, one could dismiss those Swedes for hiding their true identities, then accuse them of pretending it’s 1987 all over again, but that would be missing the point. Disregarding any form of categorization, the members of VAMPIRE agree that they have never paid much attention to the classic Stockholm death metal scene from the early 90’s (“too much groove and too little atmosphere”), but they are the first to admit that their musical roots do stem from the second wave of black metal that swept Scandinavia in the early to mid 90’s. This is probably where their unusual, graveyard-like, and at times almost gothic atmosphere (à la Hammer horror movies from the 60’s) comes from.
With these influences in mind, the band released their first and only demo in 2012, a year after initially forming. Recorded as a three-piece, those first three songs immediately made a stir in the underground, solely on word-of-mouth and without actual promotion. The 300 tapes sold out in less than a week, despite the fact that the band had yet to play a single gig or complete any interviews. Being hailed by Fenriz of DARKTHRONE on his “Band of the Week” blog only added fuel to the fire, and when the same recording was re-issued on a now highly collectable 7”, not even the accidental manufacturing mistake of double-pressing this edition (originally limited to 500 copies) could meet the immediate demand.
North American Release Date: March 18th, 2014
By then, the band had already played their debut show in Copenhagen, and a dozen performances have followed since, including one in London at the Live Evil festival, plus one with the mighty REPULSION in Oslo, where Hand of Doom was invited by the gore-masters to perform BATHORY’s “The Reaper” on stage. In the meantime, the band never stopped writing new songs, and by the time it was officially announced that they had signed to Century Media Records, their first album was already finished.
Self-titled and containing ten tracks (two of them being re-recorded versions of songs from their demo), their debut full-length was recorded last September and October in an old-fashioned, analogue studio, owned by pop musicians who rarely work with metal bands. This gave VAMPIRE access to not only a crisp and warm sound, but also to a vast collection of vintage equipment (including an accordion, a vibraphone and a Fender Rhodes). To keep it spontaneous, the recording process was intentionally a quick affair, with the basic tracks being put down to tape in only three days. Additional recordings were completed at their own rehearsal place on a portable studio christened Seven Gates Studios, named as a tribute to one of their most obvious influences.
The result is 666% VAMPIRE, with a music style not of this world or time. Combining a variety of lyrical themes that explore the dark and unknown, drawing inspiration from contemporary horror literature and the filthiest videos known to man, there is no gimmick, trend, or side-project here. VAMPIRE is the real deal: an enigmatic circle of metal-heads that live in a dimension of their own. And this is just the beginning…