Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Are you ready for some more early exclusive madness from a band I'd guess quite a few of you might know? Let's get right down to it, the talented guys in Vampire Squid will be dropping their fourth album, Reinventing The Eel, this Wednesday, April 15th. I'm really excited to help them launch an early album stream today. As usual, you can read on to learn more about the release and the band, or scroll immediately below and get started checking out this fucking fantastic release.
Although the group's prior third album, Nautilus World, came out in what seems like a lifetime ago in 2014, it's continual core member, guitarist and vocalist Andrew Virrueta has been busy with other esteemed projects all the way up into the present. First as a part of the instrumental progressive metal project Interloper, which includes current and former Rings of Saturn members who will be releasing their debut album in the near future after releasing a few killer singles. He then joined The Faceless as a live guitarist from 2018 into the present and if I understood correctly, will be a part of their next recorded music as well. Longtime Vampire Squid member Jake Sprinkle joins Andrew on bass and lyrical contributions as the other musicians on Reinventing The Eel.
Whether you're new to Vampire Squid or a longtime fan, Reinventing The Eel is an incredibly fun, memorable, eclectic, and over-the-top album from its stunning opener, "Mr. Squidworm", to its world-collapsing closing cut, "Into The Goo". Much like Slugdge, Vampire Squid may appear to be just parody and lighthearted fare if glanced at without giving it a shot, all the while tackling things on a deadly serious level musically and lyrically at all times.
While I'd consider Vampire Squid to be a more modern-sounding act then Slugdge, enhanced by a stronger focus on brutality and quirky synth layers, the parallels between the two are there on several levels even with the noticeable mathcore, deathgrind, and black metal influences here. At heart, it's still a wide-ranging form of prog-death/tech-death mashed together and executed on a phenomenal level that few can touch.
For more information on Reinventing The Eel, guitarist/vocalist Andrew Virrueta shared that "We wanted to approach this record a bit differently both lyrically and musically. We had ongoing musical and lyrical motifs all throughout the first three records, connecting a three-album concept story. Since the story finished with our last release, “Nautilus World”, we decided to start from scratch with this one.
Lyrically, “Reinventing The Eel” is not a concept album. We wanted to try and challenge ourselves by not resorting to that album format that we have been very comfortable with again. We wanted to instead write songs that stand alone from each other and have different unique stories in them. Instead of having a larger idea to write for, we thought having a fresh clean slate for each song would be more challenging for us. From song to song, there is either a new mini-story, or a topic that we feel strongly about and wanted to express our feelings toward. It ended up being incredibly fun and liberating not knowing what we were going to write about next, and bred some very fun ideas that we haven’t really explored in previous releases.
Musically, our goal was to take a much deeper look at our riff writing, compositional tendencies, etc. and really see how much further we could refine them all with one very important notion in mind: “Plan on playing these live.” We found that this idea as an undertone to the record really makes a lot of these songs much more enjoyable for us to play live and interact with the crowd. This was not quite the case with a few songs on our previous works. This is not to say that the writing has dumbed down by any means, just that the placements of the more challenging sections were more intuitively planned out. That in mind, we feel that these songs are the strongest in our catalogue to date. This record sat unreleased on our computer since 2016 when it was finished. After 4 years, these songs to us still feel very fresh and haven’t lost their luster to us which we think is a very good sign of this record aging well."
As usual, memorability is the name of the game on Reinventing The Eel, so do check out our early stream of the album below. You can pre-order the album through the Vampire Squid Bandcamp page. You can follow the project over on the Vampire Squid Facebook Page.