Buzzov•en: Violence from the Vault

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Buzzov•en: Violence from the Vault
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Buzzov•en: Violence from the Vault
Sludge Metal, Thrash Metal
Relapse Records
January 5th, 2010
Release length: 33:53
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Over ten years have passed since the Thrash/Sludge outfit Buzzov•en split up, with only one compilation CD released in between to keep the spirit alive. Now, we have the release Violence From The Vault to break the silence. While this does feature new material, Violence From The Vault is not an album by a reunited band, but rather the release of five songs that were put onto cassette tape around 1995, and just never saw the light of day until now, almost 15 years later. It’s definitely nice to hear if you enjoy the style, or the band, but it’s more a question of how well the material has aged and if it can stand up against today’s technology.

The material on here is actually really good, being very heavy and well composed. It’s rather saddening that all but “Nod” and “Mainline” have been kept tucked away all this time, since these two have been featured on smaller EP releases after the break up of the official line-up around 1995. What’s worse is that these songs never really had the fortune of being properly recorded. “Mainline” and “Paintake” really stand out as the better tracks on the release, with “Breed” being a rather poor-sounding track due to the overuse of the same repetative samples and guitar chords being rung out then going back in throughout, which is enough to induce a pretty bad headache. This is about the time that we start going pretty fast away from any Thrash, even Punk, sound that was present, and head first into a heavy Sludge atmosphere with “Nod” and “I Never”.

The real debate about this release is whether or not it should have been mastered in any way. The recording has been left as it originally was, letting you hear the raw power the material had on the original tapes. However, the transition between the old cassette tape to CD now isn’t all that great since it does affect the material, sounding as if you’re listening to a low bitrate MP3 file with some washed moments, particularly with the drums, throughout the release. While remastering the music on here probably would have been a very bad idea, though I’m sure the tracks would have benefitted from it greatly, much long the insanely long Sludge-heavy track “Nod”, which really just seems to drag on after a while, and “I Never” as far as the openning Sludge moments of the track go.

All in all, Violence From The Vault is an excellent addition for the Buzzov•en fan. Aside that, if you’re not too into raw recordings from ages ago, this one might be something you’ll skip on. There’s no doubt the release starts off great, but begins to go downhill about the time you hit “Breed”, and the washed out quality from the transfer of tape to CD clearly didn’t do much to help out, making some of the Sludge moments sound muffled and often indecipherable between music and noise with “Nod”. Either way, the material found on Violence From The Vault depicts a band with a lot more potential then they unfortunately left us with.

01. Mainline – 5:30
02. Paintake – 4:27
03. Breed – 4:19
04. Nod – 15:52
05. I Never – 3:42
Overall Score: 3.5/10
Buzzov-en (Band)
Buzzov-en (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records.