Via Vengeance

Not only does Shane Ocell play all the instruments in Via Vengeance, but he plays them all at once. With his Gibson guitar on his lap, he sits behind his drum set and feeds fat, gritty guitar sounds through effects pedals and Sunn amps with one hand while drumming with the other hand and stomping out steady, stalking rhythms with his feet. It's stoner doom-metal with the structural ambitions of prog-metal bands such as Isis and the raw, analog ambiance of garage-punk terrorists Drunks With Guns. For those not familiar with DWG, we'll say that Ocell sings like Fear's Lee Ving with a bad cold that's pissing him off. Via Vengeance's song "Burn" — with its gruff, monotone vocals and soulful breakdown building back up into a crunchy march — is the highlight of VV's self-released debut CD. The four-song EP, christened Shades of Blood, is a great grungy earfuck that, sadly, is over in, like, 12 minutes. Ocell's sludgy sonic romps are riveting; hopefully, he'll make it last live.


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