Bädr Vogu are an interesting sonic specimen from the USA. Oakland, California, to be exact. "Exitium" is the band's first full-length album, and was released a little less than a year ago. My first impression of the band's sound was that of, and excuse the highly odd metaphor, "The kind of band that I'd see opening for someone else, and end up preferring to the headliner". Why, you may ask. Well, I'll do my best to tell you...
Bädr Vogu play an interesting mix of just about everything, a veritable Noah's ark of stylistic medley, with bits of sludge, doom, crust punk and all sorts of things knocking around the mix. From the long, doomy intro to the opening track, to the sludgey, oddly metallic sounding riffs which come along at a higher tempo later on, and the all infiltrating bluesy twist which seems to sweeten the enhance the whole thing, everything seems to quite nicely fit into the greater picture, and the influences synergise well with one another. The use of spoken word samples here and there added a lot of "fun" to the mix, for want of a better word, and were not only well inserted but rather clever. I can't claim to know what they're from, but they certainly added to the atmosphere of the bands sound. The vocals, shrieks and deep, death-doom style growls throughout, add a bit to the extremity of the bands sound, which in other aspects is quite "meduim", aside from the occasional hail of blastbeats.
The production has a pleasing roughness, in the way that everything is there, and is audible, but it's still organic. There isn't much post production work going on here, with the drums sounding deliciously unenhanced and gritty, the way the sounded as they were being recorded, I expect. This is also true of the other instruments, and the album could quite easily have been recorded live-in-studio, pleasingly so. The production in general, and indeed the tone used creates a magnificent hazy onslaught, the kind of thing which live, would have me rocking trance-like back and forth, eyes half closed, in a good way. The depth and sludginess really gives the music a lot of punch, and makes it damn intense, absorbing and captivating, with a depth of atmosphere to match the literal depth of pitch. The riffs, especially, have an immense, crushing and fist-pumping power to them, and the guitar tone, especially on higher parts, is pleasing in a way I can't quite explain.
The album felt very complete, and was an enjoyable listen throughout. I loved the feel the album had, and although I can't quite put it into exact words, it's "essence" was very enjoyable - the essence, perhaps, of an album which you listen to again and again. I'm impressed, and I hope anyone who actually reads these bloody things is equally impressed.
I'm going to go ahead and give this 9/10.
Bädr Vogu on Bandcamp
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Bädr Vogu on Metal Archives