Premiere: VHS – “Sealed with a Kiss”

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It brings me great pleasure to announce that VHS still fucking rule.

Longtime Toilet readers will no doubt recognize those initials. Their last album, We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs not only premiered here at TovH but also made my Top 10 for 2019. The band has had a remarkably busy 2020, releasing two singles and EPs through their rapidly overflowing Bandcamp page.

Riding high on a fantastic catalog to date, it would be easy to sit 2020 out and wait for this whole global plague thing to blow over. Instead, they’ve graciously decided to grant us the privilege of introducing their new lyric video for “Sealed with a Kiss,” from the forthcoming album Gore from Beyond the Stars.

“Sealed with a Kiss” shows precisely what VHS do so well: a perfect blend of vintage horror camp, enormous riffs, and a heaping helping of pure fun. A melodic, spine-tingling solo courtesy of guitarist Mike Hochins hits halfway through, lending legitimate gravitas to a song about “space vampires/brought back to Earth/brought back by mistake.”

As you’ll see, the video itself doesn’t fall victim to the usual trope of “lyrics in an angular font over a vibrating version of the cover art.” The obvious effort that’s been put into the production should inspire other bands to follow their example—a lyric video can be legitimately entertaining, rather than just a vehicle to broadcast the words to a new song.

While “Sealed with a Kiss” displays a more straightforward death metal focus than the DM/thrash/punk/hair metal blend I’ve grown accustomed to, I can’t find any argument with the result. The contrast between the crawling intro and choruses and the warp-speed verses goes down smooth every time, and I must have listened to the song at least 20 times as of press time.

Gore from Beyond the Stars is tentatively scheduled for release on November 24, 2020. It’s shaping up to be a good ‘un, and I for one will be following it closely.

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