Check out ‘Focus Deceased’ – the first new music from Vast Pyre

On the surface, Vast Pyre might show off a minimalist set up, since they work a sound centring around just guitar and drums, but there’s absolutely nothing minimalist about the noise they create.

Taking influence from classic doom bands like Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard, the German doom duo work some of the heaviest riffs, but unlike their heroes, their most oppressive sounds take on a pure sludge aesthetic. Vast Pyre’s dirty and very heavy approach owes a great deal to the likes of Conan and Dopethrone, but their raw sound feels at least five times heavier due to a DIY sound played through a wall of distorted amps. During the nine minute ‘Focus Deceased’ they colour the sludge with a huge amount of phased effects, but it’s the solid, blues drenched lead guitar breaks that impress most of all. They’re often buried within the noise, but when allowed to cut through, the lead elements show Jonny to be a player with a surprising amount of feel. [Between the recording of this track and its release, Jonny has actually departed, leaving guitarist Forsti and drummer Wally in charge of this doom laden machine, so any future sounds might feel a little different, though likely no less noisy.]

For those hoping for a little more than pure heaviness here, a clean interlude showcasing more of a gothic doom influence adds a welcome and atmospheric distraction, breaking up the epic doom with an easy flair. At the most extreme end of the scale, it would be fair to say that drummer Wally’s vocal style won’t be for everyone, since he attacks this piece with a roaring, ferocious tone that’s more about volume than any real melody, but in its own way, that is well suited to his equally forceful drumming style, which works hard to rival the intense guitar work throughout.

There’s doom, and then there’s Vast Pyre. Their wilfully ugly swamp is here to utterly absorb everyone…