Sunday 24 May 2020


Something a little different, a little special landed on our desk at Desert Psychlist a few days ago, something a little less caustic and heavy from our usual fare but nevertheless something we think you should know about. That little something was an album, "Vitskär Süden", from a Californian collective going by the same name, a collective comprised of Martin Garner (bass/vocals), Julian Goldberger (guitar), Christopher Martin (drums) and TJ Webber (guitar), four musicians who with their combined musical skills have created something intensely beautiful.

It would be understandable if, just by going on the artwork, the casual record browser dismissed "Vitskär Süden" as just another metal album, the three armed figure in a full face helmet holding what could be mistaken for a weapon screams of dank doom or brutal black metal. Let us not however go judging books by covers here because as soon as opening track "War Machine Crimson" creeps seductively into your ear space you will soon realise that Vitskär Süden are more about mood than they are about malice. There is a heaviness to be found on "Vitskär Süden" but it is not to be found in endless riffs and thundering rhythms but more in its deep thought provoking subject matter, the band telling stories, in world weary tones, of mistakes made, regrets revisited and futures uncertain against backdrops of swirling moody psych built on a bedrock of soothing string arrangements, subtle piano passages, reverberating chord progressions and undulating rhythmic patterns. Subtle, nuanced and seductive yet able to bite if it has to "Vitskär Süden" is a debut well worthy spending time with.

Don't try placing Vitskär Süden into a any genre, category or neat little labelled box because they don't fit into any, they are what they are and what they are is a very talented group of musicians creating music that is moving, meditative and beautiful.
Check 'em out ……

© 2020 Frazer Jones

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