Crate Diggin’: Vulgaari’s Vulgaari

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When a person thinks of Minnesota, they think of Prince (the artist formerly known as a.k.a. The Symbol), Paul Bunyan, Fargo, people with funny accents, “Minnesota nice” (being an asshole just as nicely as possible), Rhymesayers Entertainment, and the Mall of America (which receives the most visitors annually of any mall in the world. Yes, the world.) You’re probably not hip to Minnesota’s metal scene unless you A) live here (sup Hessian Stunter), B) are well researched, or C) have had me ramble at you online with some of my recommendations (sup guise). The long, frigid, bleak, tr00 winters may have something to do with metal’s popularity here. Those who aren’t into skiing, snowboarding, or chasing snow bunnies with a cup of hot apple cider in hand need a way to pass the time up here all winter (nightmare) long.

Vulgaari promo.

Enter Vulgaari. They have received some degree of acclaim for their 2012 selt-titled debut and it’s not hard to see why. They bring the psychedelic doom and sludge with an emphasis on riffs and some fancy guitar flourishes and solos to boot, something that sets them apart from their repetitive, at times yawn-worthy doomster contemporaries. Vulgaari was recorded as a duo, but they’ve since become a five-piece band in order to play live shows and record their follow up.

Vulgaari opens heavy. I’m talking trapped-under-a-car heavy. “A World Created” really emphasizes the guitars and riffs without taking away from the strong drumming. The vocals suit this music perfectly; low growls set the mood for the invasion taking place. The whole thing ends with some obscure vocal sampling.

Drumming seems to be the focus of the first part of the second track, “Battlestag”, and “Match” opens with a soaring guitar lead. Variety is what holds your interest throughout the album. It’s doom and sludge metal as Easy Rider; it’s freedom, man. “Match” gallops along and really picks up around the three minute mark. Track lengths range from near five minutes to seven minutes plus, which gives the songs a lot of room to breathe and grow. “Black Mountain” showcases the guitar skills of Zack Kinsey and Brent Hedtke. “Lie” is an album highlight for me. It’s Vulgaari at both its most occult and musically ferocious. “Forever Roam,” situated near the end of the album, is full of guitar leads that remind me of The Karate Kid. They really do. Check it out.

Vulgaari was quickly picked up for distribution by Cubo de Sangre. Not bad for a Minnesota band’s debut offering. Vulgaari are hard at work on their sophomore album. Information on that is hard to come by at the present time.

I discovered Vulgaari through personal connections. Guitarist/vocalist Zack Kinsey is a tattoo artist at the shop I frequent. He hasn’t tattooed me, but I’ve recommended him based on his work. I have had the pleasure of seeing Vulgaari live when they decimated a small local club. Vulgaari has received accolades from a few ToH denizen favorites including “Grim” Kim Kelly and No Clean Singing. Fact check that if you feel the need, or just check out Vulgaari’s solid debut. Let me know what you think in the comments, and sound off with some of your favorite local bands!

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