Death Metal, Doom Metal, Metal

Eremit – Vanguardian protect (Review)

Bands: Eremit
Release: Vanguardian protect
Genre: Death Metal, Doom Metal, Drone
Country: Germany (Osnabrück)
Release Date:15th of December, 2023
Released viaZann’s Records
Drei Gleichen
Cover Artwork:Sabrina Smokic

It’s been quite a big deal when monolithic Death Doom heavyweights Eremit announced the release of their third full-length Wearer of numerous Forms. Why – you might ask – let me explain. As some of you might have followed, we at Transcended Music Blog were involved in the pre-release phase of this full length as well by presenting the second single off this album that showcased the full track “Entombed in a Prism of Blindness.” Although sounding weird, it is obligatory to mention that we presented a full track, since the first premiere came via Deaf Forever and presented only an excerpt of the first track “Conflicting Aspects of Reality”. With this insight into the second single of the album, there was kind of an uproar because it was also announced that the vinyl version of this release will be dealt with by scene king Chris from Fucking Kill Records… and this release will be a 4-LP box! Yep, you’re reading correctly. The first track of which Deaf Forever only presented an excerpt would have a full runtime of more than 60 minutes. Aight – you might say – yes.

Although I did not manage to discuss this full-length, I still have to tell that I listened to it numerous times (just as my fellow colleagues at work did) and I highly enjoyed it. After the release of Eremit’s second full-length album Wearer of numerous Forms, I went for the release of vocalist Mo’s pamphlet in which he encompasses the lore of the first two Eremit full-length releases (including the Desert of Ghouls 10″) and almost devoured it. Afterwards, I was especially interested to find out how the epic was going to continue. Just a year after the release of this aforementioned third full-length, Eremit announce the release of their live album Vanguardian protect of their show at Roundhouse in Kaufbeuren. To people from the Bavarian underground scene, this location might already ring a bell. This is where the still quite young but pretty thriving underground label Zann’s Records is located, and this is also the label involved in the release of this live album in cooperation with band-owned label Drei Gleichen.

Now you might wonder – it was just mentioned that the first track off this third full-length alone already clocks in at above 1 hour of playtime – how the heck is Eremit even able to present this music at live shows and how on earth do you even preserve this event for eternity? Actually, this is not new to the band since there already was a live album in the past. In 2022, Low Fidelity Assaults released the infamous tape Live at Fall of Man 2019. For those of you who might not be familiar with the Fall of Man, this recurring festival takes place in Munich. This tape version was absolutely stunning and sold out immediately. On this tape, Eremit were still moving within the spheres of the Carrier of Weight, their first full-length release. Although the Wearer of numerous Forms was already recorded at that time, as can be read in a previous interview I did with vocalist Mo, the official lore still stopped at the point where protagonist Umno first makes landfall. The tracks were still “shorter” at that time, though, which might have made it a little easier to present at shows.

When entering the sound on Vangardian protect, it is first of all necessary to mention the fact that this live show was only played by two of the three members of Eremit. Just consisting of Mo and Marco at this show (and entire tour), the band browsed through the material of their by the time not yet released Wearer of numerous Forms. So if you are wondering how to present these monolithic tracks, it is by browsing through the material that they succeed to cut it down for the comparably short amount of time of a live show.

On the first track “Vanguardian” of this release, it is immediately made clear where the roots of their third full-length are based. If you listened to this album, you might have come across the fact that the band implemented a strong amount of Drone elements and playfully intertwined them with the narrative of Umno. After a few seconds of feedback-laden whirring, the first notes hit you. In between those sustained strokes that open up this track, the feedback still welcomes you here and there marking the spot of this band that is still closer to Body Void than to Sunn O))). Nevertheless, the Drone tone gets massive amount for breathing before progressing towards the further proceedings of this quest. After three minutes, the first drum hits announce the introduction to the body of this track, slowly adding further framework to the sonical boundaries that are built up. Embellishments come and go, yet they accumulate over time and generate a massively staggering surrounding. This most certainly is Eremit at their absolute slowest. The landscape that is tied to this sonical framework must be sublimely overwhelming. The first vocals will hit you at the mark of 8 minutes and only after 12 minutes, we enter more fluent proceedings of the narration that takes place within these 25 minutes. The vocals on this track move somewhere in the spheres of Bearer of many Names – era Eremit, presenting higher screams and occasional arrivals at deeper lows. Throughout the entire track, especially working with full stops and continuation of the track while leaving space for the feedback of the amplification is an element that is intentionally used to craft a very specific sound. In the end, the track is first of all brought to a sonical halt.

The second track “protect” then immediately wanders off into a different direction. Already opening up similar to the first track yet not as deep into the Drone spheres as before, there is a cut after about two minutes of the track and afterwards, Eremit return with a tremendous Death Doom sound that moves a little further to the Carrier of Weight – era of the band. Especially regarding the vocals that showed some love for Black Metal infusion on Bearer of many Names, the variants that are presented on the second track “protect,” which also moves within the spheres of Eremit III, shows some more love for deeper guttural sounds that occasionally even remind of Mo’s side project θoʊθ, where the deepest lows of vocals are very prominent.

The live sound that is presented on this release is overwhelming, especially when again taking into consideration the fact that this sound is summoned by a mere amount of two people. Apart from that, it is also refreshing to get to know sound material in the “browsing” way as it is offered at this show, leaving room for re-interpretations of their very own creations. The vinyl variant that bears this sonical offering, which came via Zann’s Records and Drei Gleichen, comes along with an incredibly beautiful pressing and every copy also contains an A4 artprint featuring a “vanguardian” illustration by Bloodlvst. This cycle is finished, this live album could be considered a full stop on the level of releases regarding this first cycle and we can be very keen to find out how the second cycle will commence.

Leave a Reply