Today, American black metal antagonists V.E.I.N. stream the entirety of their long-awaited debut album, Blood Oaths, at the No Gleaming Light YouTube channel. Set for international release on October 14th via Eternal Death on vinyl LP format, hear V.E.I.N.‘s Blood Oaths in its entirety exclusively HERE.
As enigmatic and foully underground as it comes, V.E.I.N. was formed at some point during the new millennium by prolific underground veteran Death Fiend. While the man has played for a multitude of bands along the American East Coast, V.E.I.N. is meant to be its own entity – and one that’s uncompromisingly singular and rudely transgressive in its vision. The …into the Vein demo was released in 2013 on the cult No Visible Scars, and a handful of shows followed. A V.E.I.N. full-length has been brewing for a while, which is a story in itself…
At last, it is here, bearing the ominous title Blood Oaths. Hideous and hulking and massively hypnotic, on first listen do V.E.I.N. here exhibit traits of the bestial black metal idiom: gnawing surge, blood-gurgling intensity, minimal-is-maximal songwriting. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but Blood Oaths bears far more semblance to the old gods VON rather than all those who follow the oath of black blood: incessantly pounding mid-paced blastbeats, hypnotic repetition of simple-yet-powerful motifs, and bestial vocals echoing from the void all get warped and malformed with mesmerizing, malefic ease. Which is all to say that V.E.I.N. seeks the far (and frightening) corners of psychedelic experience, immersing themselves in a delirium of dread and utter madness. So, while Blood Oaths does maintain the martial hammering of so much bestial metal, the lysergic layering of haunting soundbites as well as torched-to-fuck FX brings a kaleidoscopic element into an otherwise-monochromatic artform. Or, perhaps this is the sound of bestial metal at its most smacked-out…
Underlining this fact is the background to the album’s recording. The lineup for Blood Oaths was Death Fiend on vocals and lead guitars, Hellvomit on lead guitars, Cathach on bass and vocals, and Ratt on drums. But to say “was” does not mean that V.E.I.N. no longer exist; rather, this was the recorded document of that lineup. During the album’s genesis, Ratt – who also served as the album’s recording engineer – was arrested on drug charges before the recording could be finished, and the master tapes were lost to the narcotic abyss. Blood Oaths as it exists was pieced together from the last best rough mix plus some additional home-recorded parts, and a professional mixing and mastering job won the day. “Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to” indeed…
For those into the deviant side of bestial metal past and present – be it Nuclearhammer, Sect Pig, Canada’s infamous Lust, England’s late/great Swine, Havohej’s EPs during the ’90s, or especially the aforementioned VON before the embarrassing antics – prepare for heavy usage with V.E.I.N.‘s Blood Oaths.
Tracklisting for V.E.I.N. (USA)’S Blood Oaths
1. Total Vascular Collapse
2. Malign Blood Oath
3. The Black Eye of Eibon
4. Banishment of Blood
6. Sangre Libertad
7. Warlocks Witches and Demons
8. Bloodstained Symmetry