Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Vessel - Vagabond Blues

I've been waiting a long time for this new record, Vagabond Blues from Vessel. I've been a long time follower of the band and have come to know them quite well over the years. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from this latest full length other than that it was a step up for the band. Little did I realize just how big a step up that Vagabond Blues was going to end up being! This is a masterful record that comes out of the gate full of energy, trafficking in classic stoner tropes but often turning in to so much more.

This is far and away one of the most exciting records that I have heard being prepped for 2020. Coming out on Majestic Mountain Records, these Aussie stalwarts have crafted something that caromes out of your speakers and rarely lets up. The only real letdown is the album closer which, despite impressive female guest vocals doesn't really ever get going the way that tracks like Twenty Twenty do. All that being said, the bands generally high energy take is an addictive one, and it means that these seven tracks that make up this record pass all too fast - giving the whole thing stunning replayability.

There is something to be said for punchy riffs and pointed vocals. There is a sonic assault here that is clearheaded and ambitious. There is nothing world breaking happening on Vagabond Blues but it's a blast to listen too. This is one of those records that seems to eagerly leap from peak to peak and is excited to remind you just how good Vessel have become since their last record dropped. If you're looking for the next stoner rock bopper then this is most certainly an album designed for you. Watch out in 2020!

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