Vendetta Records, in conspiracy with Hidden Tribe, is proud to present Vital Spirit‘s highly anticipated debut album, Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind. The CD and cassette tape versions will be released on May 6th by Vendetta and Hidden Tribe, respectively, while the vinyl version will follow later this year via Vendetta.
Self-described as “Saccharine Black Metal of the West,” Vital Spirit began life as 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. Finally released to widespread acclaim in August 2020, the band’s debut EP, In the Faith That Looks Through Death, indeed proved that Vital Spirit were presciently monikered.
Eager to return to the studio after completing that debut EP and Wormwitch’s Wolf Hex in 2020, Kyle and Izzy wrote and recorded their debut album during the spring of 2021. Aptly titled Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind, the band’s first full-length fully displays the array of Vital Spirit‘s mesmerizing vision. In addition to the familiar influences of the preceding EP – Ennio Morricone, Taake, Dissection, Drudkh, Inquisition, and Wovenhand – the duo incorporated elements of “cowboy psychedelia” or “saccharine underground” of the ’60s, resulting in a sound that’s dazzling and daring in equal measure, both acutely focused and furiously unbound. The work of Lee Hazelwood was particularly impactful, as the album’s title is taken from Sanford Clark’s “Still as the Night,” which was written and produced by Hazelwood. With preternatural deftness, Vital Spirit here also leaned into their neofolk side, especially on “Saccharine Sky,” the band’s first fully non-metal track to date.
Helping flesh out that vision are cellist Christopher Brown (Kakophonix), whose work with Osi and the Jupiter caught the ear of Vital Spirit. Likewise vital to the vision of Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind is the production of Tim Creviston (who produced the band’s first EP) and mixing courtesy of Wormwitch bandmate Colby Hink.
Of course, equally vital to Vital Spirit‘s vision is their lyrical content, which here covers the American Indian wars of the Southwest, spanning over a hundred years from the mid-18th century to the late 19th century. Seven of the eight tracks on the record detail conflicts from the period: “Blood and Smoke,” Destruction of San Saba Mission; “Bad Hand,” Battle of Blanco Canyon; “Dawn of Liberty,” Taos Revolt; “The Long Walk,” Long Walk of the Navajo; “Withering Fire,” Battle of Walker’s Creek; “White Eyes,” Bascom Affair; and “Lord of the Plains,” Red River War. Completing the totality is the album’s cover art, depicting the Taos Pueblo church, an important architectural feature of the 1847 Taos Revolt.
Literally breathtaking, brilliantly expansive, and effortlessly unique, Vital Spirit illuminate and invigorate the spirit with Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind.
Tracklisting for Vital Spirit’s Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind
1. Blood and Smoke
2. Bad Hand
3. Dawn of Liberty
4. The Long Walk
5. Withering Fire
6. Saccharine Sky
7. White Eyes
8. Lord of the Plains