• A solid teaser and great gimmick for collectors - A review of The Vision Bleak's "The Kindred of the Sunset"

    The Vision Bleak - The Kindred of the Sunset (2016)

    The Kindred of the Sunset is an EP that was released during a tour to tease The Vision Bleak's forthcoming record The Unknown. The EP consists of four tracks with a total running time of eighteen minutes. The first two songs would be included on the next studio album two and a half months later while the Tiamat cover and the instrumental track are exclusive to this release. The atmospheric cover artwork must also be pointed out positively. The EP was released in limited numbers on CD and vinyl which makes this record an interestingt collector's item for fans of the band specifically and fans of gripping gothic metal in general. If you aren't familiar with The Vision Bleak yet, any record is good enough to start with, so you might as well go for this release if you happen to find it in an underground record store.

    The two new tracks showcase the band's typical trademarks perfectly. ''The Kindred of the Sunset'' has up-tempo and mid-tempo sections, convinces with melancholic riffs but also with a dominant bass guitar sound in the verses and tight drum sections. Konstanz' gloomy baritone vocals meet a few cleverly employed black metal shrieks by Schwadorf. The majestic chorus is catchy and in the line of band classics such as "The Outsider" and "Carpathia". The other new song called "The Whine of the Cemetary Hound" is even more atmospheric but has also a more complex build-up. It's much slower than the first tune and can be decsribed as a gothioc doom metal track. The song unfolds a creepy atmosphere but needs some more time to grow and isn't an instant hit like the previous tune. The song has a very slow and awkward break in the middle section but surprisingly speeds up towards the end. The different sections are convincing but don't always fit perfectly together in my opinion. The transitions could have been more fluid overall.

    The two exclusive songs are quite nice gimmicks, no more, no less. The Tiamat cover "The Sleeping Beauty" is quite heavy by The Vision Bleak standards and performed with oomph and passion. It sounds quite close to the original but the vocal performance is more elegant here and the sound is obviously much improved over the original. I must admit that I prefer The Vision Bleak's take on the track since the band really manages to make the tune sound like one of their own tracks. "Purification Afterglow" is a short and atmospheric instrumental that closes the release on an appropriate note but there really isn't much more to say.

    If you have already purchased the studio record The Unknown, paying ten bucks for this EP might be a little bit exaggerated. However, this EP does a solid job as an album teaser, the additional two songs are quite good, the cover artwork is stunning and the limited number of copies makes this a great collector's item. My final verdict is that faithful fans should purchase this release while occasional or new fans should rather go for the great studio album The Unknown or the stunning compilation Timeline - An Introduction to The Vision Bleak.

    Final rating: 80%

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