Friday 4 November 2022


In May 2020 one of the finest amalgamations of heavy psych, progressive doom and stonerized rock was released, at first it flew under radar of many of those who make it their business to promote underground music to the wider world but slowly and surely people started to pick up on its appeal and it soon started making appearances in those end of year lists we all love to slaver over as well getting a review in Metal Hammer magazine. The album in question was a self-titled opus by a band called Vitskar Suden and it was an album worthy of all the praise being heaped upon it.
Vitskar Suden, Martin Garner (bass/vocals); Julian Goldberger (guitar/synths); Christopher Martin (drums) and TJ Webber (guitar), return this year with "The Faceless King" (Ripple Music), the eagerly awaited follow up to "Vitskar Suden", and if you thought their debut was something special wait till this beast hits your sweet spot!

"The Faceless King" is a grandiose conceptual album that tells the story of a malevolent king dethroned and murdered by his subjects whose remains have been acquired by a sinister cult intent on resurrecting him for their own dark purposes. We use the word "grandiose" because it is a word that pertains to something that has been conceived on a very grand or ambitious scale, and this makes it the perfect word to describe the music Vitskar Suden present to us with "The Faceless King". "The Faceless King" is "grand" in respect of the richness and depth of its music, and it is "ambitious" in regard to its cinematic and panoramic vision. As the first strains of opening track "The Way-Part 1" seep stealthily out of the speakers the listener need only close his/her eyes to be transported out of their own mundane existence and into Vitskar Suden's world of cults, deposed monarchs and windswept dunes. Like a good movie "The Faceless King" drags you in and along, you may not be able to see the characters live out their triumphs and failures on a big screen but with David Paul Seymour's artwork already seared into the mind's eye and huge sprawling atmospheric tomes like "Archdiocese Of Worms" , "Shepherds On The Roadside" and "The Broken Crown" serving as your soundtrack it's easy to conjure up your own images and, much like you would when reading a book, add your own colours and textures to this engrossing conceptual piece. 

Some of you might be thinking that this is an unusually brief review for such an eagerly awaited album, but the truth is there are just not enough words to adequately describe how good an album "The Faceless King" actually is. Majestic, magnificent, monumental, glorious are just a few superlatives that could be thrown its way but even those seem to lack something when trying to describe its magnitude, so let's stick with "grandiose" for the time being but do feel free to come up with some words of your own.
Check it out ..... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

# For those who buy the vinyl version from Bandcamp "The Fretless King" comes with a limited 24-page custom RPG module written by the band and illustrated by David Paul Seymour.

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