Vantablack Warship – Abrasive Pulmonic Speak

Photo by Wayne William Archibald

Unapologetically harsh and uncompromising, arousingly irritable and voracious, Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is the debut album from Canadian fury Vantablack Warship; it is also one seriously addictive assault with as much swing and contagion as sonic violence.

Vantablack Warship is the coming together of various members from some of Montreal’s best bands including one of our favourites, Buffalo Theory Mtl.  2016 saw the release of a self-titled EP, a slab of hardcore fuelled extreme metal taking no prisoners and announcing a formidable new trespass to brave. Abrasive Pulmonic Speak builds on its potential and then wipes the floor with its sibling, the album eight chunks of barbarous punk ‘n’ metal virulent in sound and viciousness throughout, sludge thick and stiflingly suffocating when it leans back on its urgency but not its ferocity. With the rapacious tones of vocalist Yannick (Pil) Pilon (Arseniq33 / Buffalo Theory MTL) standing dead centre of the rhythmic barrage unleashed by bassist Kurt Clifford (Foreshadow) and drummer Pierre Pitre (Arseniq33 / Foreshadow) surrounded by a sonic tempest cast by guitarists Pat Gordon ( Ghoulunatics / Les Ekorchés / Leprocy / Buffalo Theory Mtl) and Thierry Hivon (Brutal Chérie / Sarkasm), Vantablack Warship go straight for the throat from the start with Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaving the senses reeling and body rocking.

The album leaps upon ears with Another Dead Rockstar, the opener swiftly a severely infectious incursion with Pilon blasting the listener from its first to last breath. Thrash nurtured riffs and senses puncturing beats surround his raw and honest appraisal, lustfully swinging grooves soon adding to the already salacious temptation. Carrying a Society One meets Converge like scent the track is dirty, hateful punk ‘n’ roll at its best and an incursion which gets under the skin like a viral puppeteer.

The following Black Tongue Bertha is a carnal invasion of sound and enmity, riffs and rhythms crawling sharing pure animosity yet from their malevolence a glorious addiction spewing groove springs. Ebbing and flowing in its urgency of attack with increasing contagion, the song breeds additional flourishes of acidic melody and body rousing incitement but never relaxing in its antipathy, in fact accentuating it as it passes its victims over to the waiting chokehold of Blood on the Mat. A “graphic account of women in the UFC”, which can be transferred to the vileness of domestic violence, the track is another barbarous anthem pulling no punches or finding a relaxing its foot on the pedal of its persistently punishing attack. It is superb, an irresistible rile to attitude and spirit; the album after three tracks already drawing fevered praise.

Kill the Kid keeps things as forcibly stirring if maybe not quite offering the individualism of its predecessors though its subsequent predacious crawl from its incendiary start brings the thickest hues yet of the sludge/doom textures in the band’s sound. Equally it rocks and batters the senses like a cyclone, as too, and even more so next up Ruderalis. Grooves, riffs, and hooks escape every angle of band and sound, even the beats of Pitre getting the body bouncing as guitars weave their infernally invasive temptations. Again Pilon’s vocal squalls bring the ill intent each track constantly embraces, his rancor soaked syllables and bad blooded breath as compelling as anything aligning his intrusion.

The album’s title track bullies and stalks ears immediately after, but Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is equally loaded with manipulative grooves and tenaciously persuasive rhythms, the gnarly barbed throat of the bass just manna to these ears. It shuffles and swings like a bare knuckled fighter, again no reserve given to its physical and emotional trespass while The Blackhole, a song about ‘Raider Nation football fans’ takes a more considered though no less corrosive energy to its lead heavy gait; both tracks hitting the spot in their differing ways.

The album concludes with the thunderous tempest of Crisis, a tenebrific slow lumber churning the senses with vitriolic malevolence with just enough instinctive catchiness to have neck muscles keenly worked. More of a slow burner than those before, it makes a fine end to the release with grooves which just seduce heavy rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaves the senses reeling, lungs gasping, and pleasure spilling over as the wounds build. What could be better?

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is released January 26th; available @ https://vantablackwarship.bandcamp.com/album/abrasive-pulmonic-speak

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Pete RingMaster 24/01/2018

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