Author: Laura Cosheril
Let me present to you VIGGENBLOT, a duo hailing from Richmond, Indiana. “Reticent Markings” is their seventh release since their formation back in 2008. They’ve been consistently releasing material every year since 2011. The EP artwork seems to be a home job, featuring a tattoo and basic title, not overly impressive.
The EP begins with a fairly catchy riff, I’m starting to think I’ve picked a good’un. But a few seconds pass and it’s like a completely new song has begun, not even in a good way but the change was choppy. As the track progresses, it’s evident that this is not a once off occurance. The song formation is baffling, never in a million years would I think that this was a band that have releases seven albums. The impression I get is that they haven’t found their sound so they try and mash everything into one; one second it’s doomy, another it’s melodic, and another it’s heavy as fuck… they can’t seem to decide what they want which is baffling to me.
The next track “Burnished Sands” is somewhat better, although it still sounds like several different songs in one, so much so that I was constantly checking Spotify to see if it was the same song. The sound of this track can only really be described as a strange mix of AMON AMARTH and TYR, that is the vocals of AMON AMARTH and the musical aspect of TYR. I’m beginning to think that maybe there was just a bad EP start, that is until the next song creeps up. “Tomorrow We Meet” is such a mish mash of elements that it reminds me of rap metal! At this stage I was truly considering turning the EP off and reviewing something else, but I persevered, and I’m glad I did.
The next track “Fractured Lands” is really when I start seeing what it is these guys are aiming for. This track is probably the best on the EP. It begins with a catchy riff and drums to complement and the tone and pace changes are a lot more streamlined that it doesn’t sound like different songs, like the rest of the EP. I really enjoyed this track and I was looking forward to the rest of the EP like this… But there’s only one song left. “Into One Who is Wide Awake” is the closing song on the EP and it’s a lot more darker and almost atmospheric, which I think works extremely well for them. The growling vocals present on this EP far supersede the cleaner ones which almost sound out of tune with the music.
All in all, I’m left extremely frustrated and underwhelmed. VIGGENBLOT have the tools and sound to be something great, but for whatever reason, failed to hit the spot. I’m frustrated because the last two songs on the EP were great, why couldn’t the whole EP be like that? I also feel like if they had persevered they could have easily made the EP into a full length album with all the changes in these five songs. I’m battling with myself, I really want to rate this release highly because the last two songs were great, but I can’t ignore the fact that the first three songs were choppy and mediocre. If what they release in the future is anything like the last two songs on the EP, then I’m excited. But if not, then I’ll be giving them a miss.
1. Face the Dragon
2. Burnished Sands
3. Tomorrow We Meet
4. Fractured Lands
5. Into One Who is Wide Awake
Daron Olson: Rhythm & Bass Guitars, Lyricist
Richard Baysinger: Vocals, Lead Guitars & Acoustic Guitars, Drums, Fretless Bass & Keyboards