June 7, 2013 | , | 3.5

Vit, The Dry Season

Vit: The Dry Season

Any time I take a look at an album (or EP as in this case) and it’s only got four songs weighing in at nearly half an hour, I tend to roll my eyes and prepare for the overblown, pompous bullshit. Thankfully, Vit bring nothing at all resembling pomp to my open ears. The Dry Season lurches along with gritty, blackened metal that approaches the pace of rigor along with its bleak, doomy outlook.

Album opener, the nearly ten minute long “Sixteen Bodies,” crawls with slow moving, churning riffs and the tortured vocals rise up from the ground like a plague of locust destroying what little crops may be left after the drought that is Vit have passed through. This first tack and the over ten minute “A Hymn of Benediction” make up the vast majority of the EP while the title track and album closer round out the 27 minute run time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a solid six minutes left in “Sixteen Bodies,” as it smolders slowly, threatening to catch fire and scorch the air — though the riffs take on a fuller more doom-influenced toward the end.

The title track continues the fuller overall sound and a more up-tempo rhythm. It’s a song that’s not as bleak sounding as the opener, but it does bring with it some interesting experimentation with the guitars. It’s still moves along relatively slowly, but the more dynamic and active drum work give it the impression of being speedier than it is. The vocals are still raspy and scathing as the sear the air above the more open sound of the song. We’re almost presented with polar opposites between the two first songs. It also sounds as though they decided to end the song prematurely by fading out abruptly at the end.

The third song, “A Hymn of Benediction,” is where Vit really shine. It’s a much more dynamic and aggressive sounding track that returns to the EP’s blackened roots with cold guitars and thundering drum work. It’s easily the best track on The Dry Season. The vocals even get more ferocious as they rest deep into the swelling guitars and rolling drums. The guys are wise to keep the tempo shifting throughout the track in order to keep you from fast forwarding — I mean, it is a pretty damn long song and all. The introduction of string orchestration and woodwinds around the 6:30 mark is an interesting touch that I’m not 100% sold on, but it does add a measure of chaos to the song as the guys amp up everything the guitars and drum work. There’s definitely a good deal of experimentation going on within this one.

The EP closes out with the instrumental “… and the Rain that Soon Followed.” It’s song that leans heavily on acoustics and experimentation to wrap up what could well be a polarizing release. There’s some good shit to be found within the four tracks on The Dry Season, but there are also some WTF moments that are sure to throw listeners for a bit of a loop. If you’re up for the challenge, then check this one out.