Today, Western-themed black metallers Vital Spirit stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut EP, In The Faith That Looks Through Death, at heavily trafficked web-portal NoCleanSinging.com. Set for international release on August 28th via Hidden Tribe Records on cassette tape and digital formats – Vendetta Records will release the vinyl version later this year – hear Vital Spirit‘s In The Faith That Looks Through Death in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Although a new entity in the flesh, Vital Spirit in fact is a special collaboration between two scene veterans: Kyle Tavares (Seer, Wormwitch) and Israel Langlais (Wormwitch). Riffs for their first recording were written during and between Wormwitch’s 2018 and 2019 American tours, influenced heavily by the land and history. Demos were then completed while locked down during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In The Faith That Looks Through Death, that first recording of Vital Spirit, is a remarkably accomplished work that breathes new life into black metal’s tired ‘n’ often-trite corpse. “Harrowing ballads imbued with the enduring spirit of the Americas” is how the duo describes this four-song/17-minute work, and indeed will one find the windswept grandeur of the Wild West writ large across this potent ‘n’ poignant short-length. Right from the start, the surge is searingly familiar of black metal’s most steadfast expression, but Vital Spirit‘s iteration of such soon takes on a wily ‘n’ wending contour all its own, dramatically dusted with a yearning melodicism redolent of the Spaghetti Western films of the 1960s. Musically, it’s part and parcel of the EP’s lyrical content, which ranges from Mayan cosmology and history, Pancho Villa’s role in the Mexican Revolution, and Wovoka’s Ghost Dance movement.
Vital Spirit are not shy about their influences. Lyrics are said to be inspired by the words of Wovoka, Patti Smith, Chilam Balam, Townes Van Zandt, and the corridos of the Mexican Revolution. They list their musical influences as Ennio Morricone, Taake, Earth, Ulver, Marty Robbins, Dissection, Drudkh, Inquisition, and Wovenhand. A varied and idiosyncratic pool of inspiration, to be sure, and suitably do the duo transform all these seemingly disparate threads into something completely, uniquely their own. Thus, Vital Spirit join other contemporaries breathing new life into black metal like Vanum, Wiegedood, Ash Borer, Turia, Verwoed, Anicon, Void Omnia, Yellow Eyes, and Fluisteraars.
Vital Spirit‘s In The Faith That Looks Through Death was recorded and engineered by Tim Creviston (Wormwitch, Seer) and mixed & mastered by Andrew Oswald (Vanum, Ash Borer, Superstition). The cassette edition will be the first release of Tavares’ label Hidden Tribe Records. ¡viva la revolución!
Tracklisting for Vital Spirit’s In The Faith That Looks Through Death
1. Heart of Sky [3:53]
2. Centaur [4:55]
3. Face of the Sun [3:29]
4. Ghost Dance [4:22]
VITAL SPIRIT lineup
Kyle Tavares – vocals, guitar, bass
Israel Langlais – drums