July 2, 2013 | , | 4

Vulgaari, Vulgaari

Vulgaari: Vulgaari

Right now, I’m drinking a massive, barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout from Akron, Ohio’s Hoppin’ Frog. Why is this significant you ask? Are the duo that comprise Vulgaari from Russia or even Ohio for that matter? Well, no, but as I look into the opaque black depths of liquid nourishment in my glass, the oppressively thick and crushing doom oozing from my stereo’s speakers certainly couldn’t be any more appropriate for the occasion.

Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to Brent Hedtke (guitars) and Zack Kinsey (guitars/vokills), a pair of psycho-death-ic misanthropes that have come together to bring one hell of a debut to these ears. Vulgaari’s self-title first effort combines abysmal, crushing doom, crusty riffage, melancholic melodies and smooth flowing groove (along with a handful of sound clips) for a sound that is not wholly unfamiliar, but also one that is infectious in its own right.

“A World Created” pretty much sets the tone right from the start as crawling riffs and thundering drums are met with slow moving guttural utterances. The track flows along at the pace of rigor setting in with plenty of atmosphere and spacey touches like the guitars around the 1:20 mark that at first seem out of place, but upon further listenings feel right at home amongst the buzzing guitars and steady drum work. “Battlestag” ups the pace a touch after a start that feels like the onset of open warfare. The song has a bit of a Southern sludge vibe. Throughout the album I keep thinking of Acid Witch’s Stoned — there’s something about Vulgaari that is similar but not quite with the same amount of bong resin caking each track.

While much of the music on the album doesn’t really deviate from the first two tracks (in this case it works just fine for the band), the depressing, melancholic atmosphere of “Match” is a stand out. “Black Mountain” packs as much sludge into the lurching riffs and slick lead work as it can. The song has a shit ton of head banging groove — it’s probably my favorite track on Vulgaari.

The guys do well not to get too mired down within the churning doom, often injecting an appropriate sound clip here and there to lighten the mood and offer a little something extra. A prime example would be seen on “Lie,” a track that chugs along with massive doomy riffs and neck snapping rhythms. The second half of this debut carries a bit more atmosphere whether that be through more pronounced rumbling bass or dissonant, spacey guitars. Vulgaari may only be the work of two dudes, but the music on this effort is much more full and dynamic than expected. It’s certainly one of the catchier releases I’ve run across this year.