VERMILION WHISKEY ‘Spirit Of Tradition’ Review & Select Song Streams; Album Teaser Video


Remember that ol’ battle cry “The South will rise again!”? If there was ever a specific time frame that it was alluding to I think it was probably now, the first few months of 2017. And of course I mean musically in the fact that next week, on February 17th to be exact, Vermilion Whiskey will unleash their latest studio offering, the 6-song “Spirit Of Tradition” EP.  The Tony Reed (Mos Generator) mastered effort follows the recent release of White Light Cemetery and precedes upcoming ones from Electric Age and Forming The Void..all Southern bands from Louisiana to be exact. And make no mistake, this current music from Vermilion Whiskey is pure, undiluted Southern hard rock tempered with a bit of metallic sludge for taste. With slowly unfurling, molasses-thick riffs, swampy backwoodsy rhythms, and axe-hewn drums, the musical side of this content ripples with borne-from-below-the Mason/Dixon Line vibes with every note.

The five musicians behind Vermilion Whiskey, vocalist Thaddeus Riordan, guitarists Ross Brown and Carl Stevens, bassist Jeremy Foret and drummer Buck Andrus blend a potent mash of grunge-y Stoner Rock. Powered by guitar riffs as heavy as anything by the likes of Down or C.O.C., songs like “Road King“*, the blistering blues ‘n doom of “Come Find Me” and the metal-laden ripper “Loaded Up” scream Southern by the grace of God..or Satan, somebody, heh. The solos alone in “Road King” will absolutely scorch your ears but it’s when this unit takes a header into the heavier side of things that the smoke really begins to pour. “The Past Is Dead“* is a dense, heavy-handed slab of savage doom greatness, the slower riffs churning out as Thad’s vocals wail with whiskey-drenched severity, raspy and rowdy as can be.

There are other moments when the quintet indulge their slower bent such as the introduction to “Monolith“, a hazy little piece of atmospherically-enhanced music that gradually builds in intensity. It eventually has to release the steam and does so with a blistering deluge of boggy grooves and reverberating tones, from there riding a variety of alternating tempos and deliveries. “One Night” is a kind of honky-tonk type song, one that would liven the crowd at any backwater dive or hole in the wall and inspire them to get down to the slower boogie vibes packed in the track. And when you really do get down to it, this is really what Vermilion Whiskey‘s “Spirit Of Tradition” is all about, the tradition of getting together with friends, plugging in and turning up to ten. Yep, cranking the volume and tackling the instruments with as much gusto and vigor that you can muster and letting the music do the talking. I dare say that this release is gonna speak “volumes” (heh, see what I did there?) and further reinforce the fact that Vermilion Whiskey, and by default, other bands in their home region, are gatdamned musical rebels keeping the spirit of Southern Rock/Metal much more than merely just alive…it’s thriving and living large!



About Dragon

As the elder statesman of the Metal Nexus staff, I have been witness to the rise of Classic Rock in the 70s, the Thrash/Death/Punk/Hardcore movements of the 80s, the birth of Grunge, Nu-Metal, and Industrial in the 90s, and champion of Doom, Stoner/Retro Rock, Psychedelia, Crust, Fuzz, Sludge and everything else in recent years. As a supportive fan, musician, and artist myself, I have attended 1000s of shows and have many friends within the music community. And yes, it's true: I am more Metal than you!
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