M:CAD DrawingsDelgaDelga standard templatesBookletsCD_DPS1“Beautiful” is a word that I don’t normally use to describe an album here at AMG, and especially in Casa de los Grymm. “Fun” is even less of a descriptor. What was it again that Euronymous wanted none of via his record label again? But I took a shot at an unknown (to me, at least) group of Japanese noise brigands (with a former Boredom, Toyohito Yoshikawa, in its ever-growing ranks) known as Vampillia. With quite a few releases under their belt (seventeen, according to their website), their newest, the very wordy Some Nightmares Take You Aurora Rainbow Darkness, is their first full-length, and it’s a good snapshot into their crazy world.

But you wouldn’t know it immediately as the album welcomes you quietly with its unassuming title track. A gentle piano beckons you to a peaceful, warm entrance before the violins play a beautiful, moving melody for most of the song’s duration. The ability for Some Nightmares (both song and album) to take you by the hand through different emotions and soundscapes is nothing short of breathtaking. It reminded me of quiet mornings during the winter in my old home in New Hampshire, watching the snow quietly build up on my dad’s dormant barbecue grill. Beautiful and serene. And that lasts about halfway in, when the drums start crashing, weird feedback approaches… and then back to serenity, but in a stranger, darker context.

And there is no shortage of curveballs and left-hand paths taken on Some Nightmares. The minute-long “Rainbow on You” is a happy swing beat with death grunts and flowers. “Silences” is a mish-mash (literally) of choirs, blast beats, somber violins, and happy piano melodies. But do you truly want to experience the sheer insanity of a band comprised of former members of Boredoms? Then look no further than the addictive ditty (and “Song of the Year – Grymm Edition” candidate) “The Volcano Song”. If Mothra needed a new theme song, this would do the trick just fine… pianos, violins, a choir making phonetic sounds, blast beats (with two drummers!), jazz licks, death vocals, a dude doing soprano singing… this song is what a dance-off between Mothra and Pikachu would sound like before one of them got served. Sheer funky, uncontrolled chaos. The Jarboe-infused closer “Kizuna” is a great way to lay one down to rest, a beautiful track to help lull one back to a sense of peace and tranquillity after an album’s worth of sheer whatthefuckdom.

vampillia SNTYARD 02Some Nightmares was recorded by Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios (same studios Sigur Ros and Bjork utilized), and for a noise record, it sounds pretty damn good. The violins sound lush, the piano has the right amount of reverberation, and the choir of vocalists sound amazing. The only time the sound gets chaotic is with the actual recording of the drums. Otherwise, it’s a damn good production job. Musically, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this record, but I enjoyed the album’s entirety immensely. Sure, it got a bit repetitive over the last few tracks, but it left me wanting more of its craziness. And as a current resident of Florida, the fact that someone from that state is asking for more crazy is saying something.

Some Nightmares Take You Aurora Rainbow Darkness is a wild, wacky, and beautiful insight into the world of Vampillia. If you can keep your mind open (and your eardrums somewhat prepared beforehand), you will be kept in shock, awe, and getting your groove on.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192kbps mp3
Label: Candlelight Records
Websites: VampilliaOfficial | Facebook.com/Vampillia
Release Date: EU: 2014.06.23 | NA: 07.08.2014

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  • André Snyde Lopes

    I am completely and absolutely sold on this.

    • Grymm

      It definitely is a grower that pays off in the end.

  • The Lascivious Snape

    Really digging the song in the article. I’m reminded somewhat of the first time I heard Diablo String Orchestra. The sound isn’t similar, but the sense of “Hey now, this is something new!” is.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Great review thanks probably would have missed this otherwise, keen to pick up a copy of this!
    If you enjoyed the sampler above or generally enjoy progressive music, I can recommend checking out the merry musical pranksters that are the Boredom’s. Their earlier records in particular ‘Vision Creation Newsun’ are abstract, heavy, rhythmic, melodic and progressive masterpieces!

  • Kronos

    This is a great album and everyone should listen to it. It’s one of the least brutal things I’ve heard all year and I love it.

    • And they can do brutal. Search on youtube for their live show on the knitting factory uploaded by the unartig guys, it blew me away how they can go for really delicate post-rock like music to blistering black metal (with a soprano) with such ease.

  • Great review. I got some really strong GY!BE vibes from the opener and then “Fedor” came in and put me into an arm bar, so I’m using my free hand to click the buy link.

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    Oh Japan, you never cease to amaze me. I really like that track and I’m looking forward to more.

  • James Ingold

    The song linked in the article is awesome. There are few bangs that manage to surprise me this much whilst still managing to sound coherent. In approach they kind of remind me of Maudlin of the Well.

    Thanks for sharing this one!

  • AnnieK13

    Absolutely love this album!