Deluxe 2xLP pressed on 180gram black vinyl and packaged in an old-style tip-on gatefold jacket with metallic silver print. Layout and design by Kevin Gan Yuen (viraloptic.com), cover illustration by John Cobbett.
Vhol is :
Mike Scheidt (YOB) - vocals
John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Ludicra) - guitars
Sigrid Sheie (Hammes of Misfortune) - bass
Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, ex-Ludicra) - drums
After Bay-area black metal group Ludicra disbanded in 2011, Aesop Dekker (drums, also of Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros) and John Cobbett (guitar, also of Hammers of Misfortune) founded VHOL as a way to continue playing music together. This would be a project without the demands of a regular full-time act, allowing them the freedom to build the rest of their lineup with little worry over scheduling conflicts or any of the other baggage that comes with a more extensive commitment. This lead them to add Mike Scheidt (Yob) on vocals and Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune, Amber Asylum) on bass. With such a varied lineup, each individual with a unique style and musical identity, there was a great deal of speculation in the music world regarding the group’s sound. Even early VHOL live shows left writers in awe, without the words to accurately convey what they had experienced. It was obvious that these four had unearthed a previously untapped energy, and allowed it to permeate every song they would craft.
Throughout the seven raging tracks on this debut full-length, VHOL have managed to inject the raw, unchecked aggression of old school hardcore into classic metal, all refined through a type of black metal filter, resulting in a vicious sound that manages to tread far anything that has come before. All the while it feels as though the entire works is going to come undone through its own furious power, to be consumed by the chaos, but instead drives forward with untouchable precision. Each of the players on this album display their signature styles without losing sight of their collective goal, ultimately surpassing any pre-conceived concept of what sort of music they would create together. It would be easy to get caught up in their individual achievements, and allow that to shape your view and draw your comparisons, but VHOL is something else altogether. Standing alone, immediately potent and arresting.
VHOL was recorded at Earhammer Studios in Oakland by Greg Wilkinson and mixed in Seattle by Randall Dunn.