REVIEW: VAMPIRE - Cimmerian Shade

VAMPIRE
CIMMERIAN SHADE
CENTURY MEDIA
SWEDEN

There was a time where I'd thought VAMPIRE's debut album was the next best thing and, though a lot of other stuff has come along since, I still sort of feel it's a stand-out album. I even purchased it digitally and I hate owning digital copies of anything, that's saying a lot. So, imagine my surprise when I find that VAMPIRE has another release. This honestly came out of nowhere to me as I heard nothing about it until receiving a e-mail in my inbox as of the morning of this post. So, what do I think?

Firstly, you have to take VAMPIRE for what the band is (or used to be). It was a horror drenched, absolutely insane, homage to 80's and early 90's styles of underground Death and even Black Metal. Though that is great, I could honestly say back in the day that it would be unlikely that VAMPIRE would put out a release equally as entertaining or acceptably full of such influences. Holy lord though, they must have anticipated that fact as Cimmerian Shade's tracks are even better then their debut album. 

Not only has the band kept their roots, they've expanded on them. 'Pyre of the Harvest Queen' is a stand out track, showing that VAMPIRE can and will destroy your expectations. This time, the band takes things back a little, a little less thrash (though there is plenty of that on 'Night Hunter' and 'Hexahedron') and more of a progressive-metal feel. You can see that the band wanted to show off a little more of their musical skill this time, rather then just catchy hooks and insanely memorable lyrics. And, honestly, it works very well. Much to my surprise, I even sensed some Celtic Frost influences in here - something that pleases the hell out of a Tom Warrior fan such as me. Can I get a 'uh!'

The rest of the EP, excluding a instrumental track titled 'Sleeper in the Deep', is a little more typical VAMPIRE fare. Tearing, angry, and seething vocals paired with horror-laden lyrics - 'Night Hunter' probably being the most memorable song on this EP. The song-writing has stepped up a bit with these tracks too but not so far as to pull the band completely out of the realm of Blackened Death.

Fans of their debut, which I know there to be plenty, need not miss out on Cimmerian Shade. As this EP shows the world that VAMPIRE is back, with a vengeance, and they are no one-album wonders. I can't wait for a full album to come in the near future, and you shouldn't be patient either.

RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 25th 2015.