REVIEW: Vampillia – Happiness Brought by Endless Sorrow

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Well, here I am looking like a dang fool. The morning my article on Vampillia went up, which I ended with a statement about having no idea when new material was going to come out, A new EP entitled Happiness Brought by Endless Sorrow was announced.

Since then Vampillia has also posted two live performances on their YouTube channel and Virgin Babylon Records announced an upcoming full-length record featuring guest work by the experimental post-rock and folk group Amiina, known for their work with Sigur Rós, by way of a band performance music video. It’s almost as if they were all waiting for me to finish writing the piece before opening the floodgates.

Happiness Brought by Endless Sorrow is way-too-short and sweet, topping out at seven minutes for the overall length across four songs. This is definitely the most conventional-sounding release I’ve heard from the band so far, with very little of their usual elisions into other sounds and genres. They’ve gone for a more blended approach this time around.

If you liked the more experimental death metal feel of “Dum Spiro Spero” by Dir En Grey then chances are this will be right up your alley, especially when it comes to Mongoloid’s vocals. He’s continued his use of the whistling banshee howls and heavy distortion as seen on the My Heart Will Go On EP, though the instrumental parts have gone in somewhat opposite directions, with the metal ensemble having a somewhat cleaner sound and the acoustic instruments such being fairly heavily fuzzed out and distorted. Though the compositional style has changed a little from their usual collision of genres, there’s still some excellent counterpoint between the acoustic and metal sides of the band, with each side intertwining their own unique lines and melodies. The piano especially has a lot going on if you listen for its counter-melody in the background.

The band themselves state that the thesis for this EP was “beautiful, fast, and short,” and in this regard they’ve absolutely succeeded. I don’t want to fault the band for accomplishing what they set out to do with a piece of work, but there is some small part of me that feels slightly jilted after waiting for so long for new material. Nonetheless, just as with everything else by this band, I have yet to actually be disappointed by anything and I’d highly recommend this EP. Beautiful, fast, short, and really making me impatient for that full-length record.

Happiness Brought by Endless Sorrow is available April 18 during Vampillia’s European tour and Roadburn slate, and comes out May 4 digitally and on vinyl through Temple of Torturous.

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