Alright, let’s the get the introductions out of the way first. This is VHÖL, a “super-group” of sorts originally started by John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, Amber Asylum) and Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros) after the incredible Ludicra called it a day (sigh). Mike Scheidt of YOB was brought on board to lend his discernible vocal skills to the project and Cobbett’s colleague from Hammers of Misfortune and Amber Asylum Sigrid Sheie joined on bass. And lo, VHÖL was born.
The sound of VHÖL is a little harder to pinpoint than their origins and with such a diverse group of musicians there’s always the chance that too much will get thrown into the mix – too many cooks spoil the broth – and whilst with VHÖL there’s the obvious nods to black metal, to thrash, to progressive metal, to hardcore by way of d-beat, at no point does that become overwhelming or overpowering. VHÖL’s strength lies in the abilities of the musicians involved – Scheidt’s voice is powerful and commanding and here he lets loose with a glorious abandon, wailing and rasping and lifting the sound beyond mere heavy metal whilst the guitar of Cobbett soars above the tracks adding depth and nuance whilst a tangible grungy dirtiness flows through the filthy bass lines of Sheie.