Label: Vargheist Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal / Grindcore
Country: United States of America
Release Date: July 5th, 2019
Vargheist has a trio of re-releases that came out in July as their roster grows larger by the day; kicking things off with the insane, raucous, and humor sample-obsessed Marburg. Los Angeles, California is the home of this bizarre and talented quartet; made up of Mikey Pruzensky on bass, Timmy Dodd on Drums, Duncan McCue on guitars, and Brad Odd on vocals. This album was originally released in 2016, though it slid under my radar until the re-release was announced. Curious, I looked them up, and I picked up the NYP album based on the name of the last track alone. I have to say this up top; they had to fuck up the music for me not to love a band that makes a Frisky Dingo reference.
The low end is a blend of technical pounding and plucking, to more annihilation-aimed blasting and thundering. On more than one occasion the bass stands out, pushed to center-stage, and Mikey Pruzensky performs deftly; too often over-looked are moments to strike at the abdomen, but here they know right where to aim. Timmy Dodd has to keep up with these maniacs, or he’s steering the ship, hard to tell; the mania is contagious, it seems like the drums roll, crash, and bound through whatever utter chaos is unfurling. Everything is a speedy, blasting, technical hodgepodge of styles until the very last song, which slows down and showcases how well he understands his instrument.
Duncan McCue wealds his guitars like each strum launches a razor straight at your jugular. Venom-dipped strings ring rapidly through distortion and linger in the mind of the listener long after the noise has stopped. Across the majority of the tracks his playing style is defined by technical prowess and dissonant notes, only slowing down in the final song. The vocals are incredible and insanely all over the board; Brad Odd kills the vocals, and I’m guessing has several professional vocalists as extra personalities. He ranges from the more standard Grindcore shrieks, Death Metal growls, to other styles including Nu-Metal on a song that was reminiscent of System of a Down. Brad’s vocals stand out for how adaptable he was to the shifting soundscape; he manages to be the glue holding together these bizarre and disparate styles.
Polemicist closes out with “Welcome to You’re Doom,” which is the only track not at break-neck speed; instead, this is an exploration into the realm of Doom Metal. Opening with a distorted and slowed down sample of Killface describing his Annihilatrix, this song goes into lurching riffs, and even contains some howling vocals. I mentioned at the beginning, this is why I picked up this album; I figured them knowing about Frisky Dingo earned my respect, but I wasn’t expecting them to be this damn good. After listening to the album completely for the first time, I was genuinely surprised to have never heard of them before. Marburg does tend towards the humorous when it comes to their samples, which appear on many of the songs; perhaps this is the misconception: they are a killer band with a fun gimmick, not a gimmick band.
Polemicist is too short, or Marburg is too good, one or the other. This is a really fun release that is easily repeatable and doesn’t grow stale. The technicality of all of the members is frankly ridiculous, making the brief stay of the songs infuriating at times because you just want to hear where they would have gone with an idea in the next minute. I know there is more on the way, I don’t know when, but I know I’ll be in the front of the line.
- Suicide Nets
- Vegetative State
- Divine Menstruation
- 1% Nutritional Value
- Evaculation Superbia
- Eat Shit and Die
- Hail Sagan
- Welcome to You’re Doom
Total Playing Time: 16:51