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Review: Albatross/Vestal Claret - The Kissing Flies/Black Priest
Vestal Claret
The Kissing Flies/Black Priest

Label: Roadcrew Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 44:11
Tracks: 5
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: September 9, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Kissing Flies/Black Priest

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

This is an odd split between India's Albatross and the United State's Vestal Claret.

"Wither," the strange-sounding opener, and the first of four songs from Albatross, gives you the impression that you might be in for some unhinged extreme metal. That is, until the guitars kick in with some Iron Maiden/Metal Church riffing. Everything is fairly straightforward and pretty well played for the rest of Albatross's contribution to The Kissing Flies/Black Priest. Singer Biprorshee Das utilizes a lot of different styles centered on his clear, mid-range warble. He dips down to Black rasps and goes all the way up to David Wayne-esque screams. He also sounds like the late Metal Church/Reverend front man when he lets his mid-range get a little gritty. The songs aren't particularly memorable but the energy and enthusiasm of the band are evident. Overall, the experience of listening to Albatross is not unlike King Diamond singing for Metal Church, in style, if not quality. It doesn't hurt the band's cred that they got Wolf's Niklas Stalvind to lend guest vocals to "Uncle Sunny at the Tavern."

The lone song from Vestal Claret, one of the ubiquitous Phil Swanson's many former bands, is the 17 minute, Doom-tinged song "Black Priest." Swanson's organic vocals and the stylings of classic bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass permeate the song. It you like Phil's work in Briton Rites, you'll find some value in "Black Priest," though the song sounds like it doesn't have quite enough good ideas for 17 minutes and would probably have been more effective if pared down a bit.

The Kissing Flies/Black Priest isn't going to wow you with originality, but Albatross show promise and there's never a bad time for some Phil Swanson Doom in your day.

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