Vahrzaw’s long awaited new album comes out December 10th, folks! I’m pretty fucking excited about that, if you don’t mind me sayin’. And I could talk for days about… woah! Woah! Holy shit this album is great! Let’s talk about that!
It really would be a shame to miss an opportunity to lavish some well-deserved praise upon the greatness that is Vahrzaw’s “The Trembling Voices of Conquered Men.”
This band is from Australia, and that’s important because it has been my experience that Australians quite simply do not give a fuck! That’s one of their things. It works for them. And it really works for Vahrzaw, because this music is bat shit crazy!
Thrash, Death, old school Speed Metal, a touch of Black Metal tossed in there for just long enough to piss a guy off… this as an album of ambition and drive. Every moment holds a meaning. Not a second lost, even within the pauses.
The first example of bat-shittery is an incredibly heavy and ridiculously ambitious song called “Waiting With The Wolves.” This thing is fucking massive. The moment I first finished listening to it, I thought… “God damn. That was some special shit. Would go reeeally good with a taco.” I also knew I wanted to cover the whole record as best as I could.
The wait for the album’s release has taken longer than expected, so I thought it might be fun to bring in one of the Vahrzaw dudes to enlighten us a little. Guitarist Scott Williams drew the short straw, but thank fuck for that! Because this dude is funny as shit, which only ADDS to the character of his band.
I asked Scott if there was currently more than one song available from the new album that we might be able to publish with a review. He s there were two, and added:
“I’m the least serious Metalhead… total opposite of those weird fuckers that think they’re wizards or forest elves.”
Scott doesn’t write the lyrics, but he knows what they’re about. In fact, as it turns out “Waiting on the Wolves” sounded massive to me for a reason.
‘Waiting with the wolves’ is the serial killer one. Pure Old Death Metal worship.
The stupid Flying V wouldn’t stay in tune for the divebomb solos. I did all the rhythm guitars in 12 hours with NO piss breaks… on a diet of black coffee.”
Fuckin-A, Scott Williams!
“‘The Pessimist’,” he says, “is about a father who considers killing himself, as he sits at boring traffic lights, but doesn’t… because of his daughter.” A song Scott describes as an “Epic Black/Death Metal” song, and I couldn’t agree more.
Within the first two and a half minutes, this magnificent nine minute bastard takes the listener through a tornado of genre, each one both more violent and more gentle at the same time, which… how? But it does! And it doesn’t stop making sense, no matter how many twists and turns it takes us on.
The amount of expression present on this song alone is ridiculous and deserves an award for… something clever and thoughtful, yet not entirely un-embarrassing. These Vahrzaw guys are complex motherfuckers!
The final track, “…Of Conquered Men,” Is an incredibly beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental, much like the opening track (“The Trembling Voices…”), but there is a sadness to it -despite it being (I suspect) a rather optimistic conclusion for an album so full of character.
What you discover if you let it keep playing (which you will already be planning to do, no doubt) and start over again from the beginning, “…Of Conqued Men” slowly turns back into “The Trembling Voices…,” not only starting the story over, but with a newfound understanding of who these trembling voices are, who they’re calling out to, and why it requires interpretations from multiple angles over the course of several listens, and each time we get to the end and start again… we’ll know a little bit more than we did the last time, but there will still be something missing! And you can’t be sure what, but next time you’ll pay attention to the bass playing more, because there’s this one part on “Death of an Unknown Architect” that makes you want to pee a little and it doesn’t bother you in the slightest, because by there’s a reason! There has to be a reason! Ahhh! Ahhhhh!
And that, my friends, is what we call a fucking masterpiece. Do not fuck around and underestimate this record.