Vestal Claret – The Cult of Vestal Claret – Cruz del Sur Music

The cult stays vestal….

Vestal Claret is an occult spirit from Hamden, Connecticut which released a couple of albums and EP’s prior to this chef d’ouvre called The Cult of Vestal Claret. This is real heavy metal, snail paced and with strong riffs and hooky choruses. Some may classify them as “doom” or “stoner” because of their Sabbath-esque influences (and indeed they are strong through the whole album) and may mistaken them by an imitation of Saint Vitus, Pentagram or Pagan Altar but they are beyond the occult: they have more elements of American classic Heavy Metal like Manilla Road, Omen or Cirith Ungol… just THEN, you put the sabbaesque flavor in it so we have Vestal Claret: hermetic but very true metal.

Never Say No Again sounds like a menace, and they way Phil Swanson utter his words is like Satan inviting you to the coven and threatening to burn you out in the very flames of hell if you won’t do so.

Three and Three are Six and The Cult of Vestal Claret are good songs, but they don’t stand….

… on the other way around the satanic Great Goat God is the epitome of what the very core of Heavy Metal was supposed to be: not modern gimmicks, just simple production, with most killer riffs around, courtesy of  Simon Tuozzoli, and the swinging way that Phil Swanson sings this number sends shivers down my spine. It’s an oblique game of voice/guitar and drums that is so killer that is impossible to not feel moved by it.

The 16 minutes of Black Priest is justified, if not by the lack of progressive approach to fill up the entire tune, but just by the vibe of it. It’s actually very repetitive but it has a strong magic form the second zero. It’s simply anthemic and well done.

The cover of Black Sabbath Who Are You – is, as well, totally justified. Very alike the original version, it is done with American verve to confront the prime version. In other words: it’s done following the exact guidelines of the original sound, but at the same time they put 50% of Vestal Claret vibe in it.

That’s what this band is about: vibe! They are the ultimate example on how to make simple melodies sound like a great opera!!!


The Cult of Vestal Claret is out NOW on Cruz del Sur Music.

(Daniel Death)

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