The moments of being truly bowled over by a release or ‘new’ band, introduction wise, seem to be far and few between right now but leave us on our backs with jaw wide open with exhilarated awe is just what British metallers VNDTA did with their debut EP, Pale Glow. With a sound which manages to caress and seduce whilst ripping out and feasting on the senses, the Hertfordshire quartet have just announced themselves as a real big deal.
Though formed in 2015, it was 2017 which saw the band really worry attention and acclaim as they shared stages with the likes of Aghast, Vanity, King Leviathan, and Confessions of a Traitor as well as a host of their own headlining shows. To be honest, Pale Glow is actually our introduction to the band and there could be no better a way to meet them and form a lustful union between music and ears.
Like a fusion of the raw aggression and spiteful trespasses of Iwrestledabearonce and Otep with the virulent catchiness of No Doubt and The Cardigans, the VNDTA (pronounced as vendetta) sound swiftly reveals itself within their latest encounter to be as unique to the band as you would wish. Tagged as alternative metal it embraces a host of other metal and punk flavours in its cauldron of intimation and intimidation. The recording of Pale Glow came within a turbulent time, vocalist Megan Targett admitting that “Recording the EP was probably the most difficult week of my life. We were broke, spent weeks living in my car; I ended an abusive relationship and lost a family member. But it didn’t stop me. We used the pain to fuel raw passion into the vocals and the music.” That passion is clear to hear as the EP’s tracks devour and arouse second by second.
From the moment the EP’s title track looms right up from its distant entrance attention was not only hooked but chained to what was to follow. Wiry tendrils of guitar wrap around ears immediately, senses slapping beats alongside and once the first track hits its voracious stride and the vocals of Targett unleash their incitement, the deal between lust and the devil’s music roaring from the speakers was done. Swiftly the singer impresses with a throat abrasing attack and venomous delivery but it is when she breaks into a glorious clean delivery that realisation at her talent is inescapable. Before then guitarists Callan Hughes and Jay Bacon gnaw at and chew on the senses, twisting and turning with grooves as their hooks pierce with imagination as the swinging rhythms of drummer Willem Mason-Geraghty infest body and spirit just as potently. The track is immense and no better way to succumb to the first abusive seduction of VNDTA.
Well we say that but the highlights just flood ears thereon in, the following Excuses a feral yet skilfully honed temptation as contagiously infectious as it is violently manipulative. Targett croons first this time, harmonically enticing as the band spin their creative web. There is of course a constant growl in the throat of singer and song, one subsequently erupting with carnal designs though still with melodic veining and atmospheric suggestion for inventive company. Involvement in voice and attitude is unavoidable as too with next up Swine, a tempest of contrasts and intensity amidst the drama of the imagination. Another as wickedly catchy as it is uncompromisingly gladiatorial, the song is another which just stirs body and spirit.
The visceral and physically twisted enterprise of Martyr is a sonic virus, getting under the skin and into the psyche within a few insidious breaths from where it burns and seduces with toxicity and beauty, again pretty much simultaneously as the sounds abound the senses with antipathy and infectiousness as Targett again simply exhilarates. The suggestive calm which bridges it and successor Rare Breed is magnetic yet soon in the past as the following creative escapade erupts. Again a tapestry of flavours and intrusion descends on ears and once more pleasure is swift and continuous. From voice to sound, melody to rhythm the song is a mercurial adventure rewarding at every twist and tempting at every turn imagination, unpredictability fuelling every moment.
Emotion and passion equally soak every breath and note, the final pair of Leeches and Virus blossoming with both. The first is carnivorous from the off, music and voice an intrusive animus but instantly as catchy as the lighter harmonics which intersperse the tempest of technical, extreme, and grooved endeavour with a fine line in progressive intuition. The track is yet one more immense moment within Pale Glow, a predator of the finest incitement pretty much matched by Virus. Straight away it gets under the skin though maybe no more than its other striking companions, but by the twist and turn it digs deeper and becomes more toxic and intoxicating but similarly graceful as it revolves its attack.
The excellent encounter completes the outstanding release, a nationwide introduction surely leading to bigger, broader, and richer things much as their sound blossoms across its length. Once in a while a band really excites, at the time and for things ahead. VNDTA has us drooling and we can only say go see why.
Pale Glow is out now, available @ http://vndtashop.bigcartel.com/
Pete RingMaster 17/04/2018
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