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Vit - "The Dry Season" (CD/EP)

Vit - "The Dry Season" CD/EP cover image

"The Dry Season" track listing:

1. Sixteen Bodies (10:01)
2. The Dry Season (3:51)
3. A Hymn Of Benediction (10:21)
4. And The Rain That Soon Followed (3:28)

Reviewed by on March 12, 2013

"Vit doesn’t stray away from what they did on “-” and continue to blur the lines between experimental black metal and raw doom metal."

Vit showed an apt ability to contort the fabrics of black metal on their debut “-”, and they don’t hinder this success on “The Dry Season.” Four tracks that are distinct from each other, yet intertwined by a feeling of closeness between them, this EP is almost a sure-fire method to inject a little dour into your day. The material will be accommodating to fans of the band, who grew used to the less traditional style of “-”. Though “The Dry Season” suffers from a shaky start, the mini-LP is rounded out by a gratifying second half, where the band’s experimental nature is given a longer leash to run.

Two jaunting tracks are accompanied by the same number of compact cuts, with one following another. Those hoping for standard, down-to-earth black metal will only find it in portions of “A Hymn of Benediction,” which happens to be the best track on “The Dry Season.” The other tracks are not short on appealing values, from the upbeat tempos of the title track to the reflective, acoustic-led instrumental “And the Rain That Soon Followed.” Vit incorporated acoustics throughout “-”, though they are more used for outro/low-key purposes on “The Dry Season” than as subtle intros or melodic diversions, like they were implemented into “-”.

“Sixteen Bodies” and the aforementioned “A Hymn of Benediction” are where the bulk of the EP is spent. Both tracks hover near the 10-minute mark, though “A Hymn of Benediction” does more with the time than the slow churning style of “Sixteen Bodies.” More decked out in doom than any of the other tracks, “Sixteen Bodies” doesn’t move faster than a wheelchair-bound geriatric. Lifeless is a quaint description, though it also makes for a restricted opener as far as excitement goes.

That is save for the theatrics of “A Hymn of Benediction,” which can be declared one of the top tracks Vit has written to date. There is a grand allure to the blessed dark hymn, and the inclusion of a sultry violin further illuminates this notion. The violin mingles with the rapid fluidity of drum fills, turning the song into a waltz from hell. There’s a long build that leads to one of the most glorious tremolo-picked breaks put down on recording this year, before a folksy outro allows brevity to nine previous minutes of bleakness.

“The Dry Season” is an EP of extremes, with some of the best and some of the more questionable material the band has written so far in their blooming career. The second half of the EP is the strongest part, with the violin becoming more prevalent and Austin Lunn (mastermind behind the excellent Panopticon project) bringing his banjo and resonator skills to the EP. Vit doesn’t stray away from what they did on “-” and continue to blur the lines between experimental black metal and raw doom metal.

Highs: "A Hymn of Benediction" is a brilliant slice of experimental black metal, nice inclusion of the violin and guest work from Austin Lunn, continues where the band left off with "-"

Lows: First half is slow to pick up, violin is slightly buried in the mix

Bottom line: An EP that shows Vit progressing forward from the sounds of "-", though the second half outweighs the first half quality-wise.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)