Music Reviews


Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires


Ladies and gentlemen, please take out your calculators, Vermillion is about to take us on a ride through all things metal and mathematical. There will lots of loud and mean sounding guitars, the drums will be so awkward and confusing that you’ll need a road map and the bass will pummel you to unconsciousness. If such things interest you, walk forward into the dark canyons of math, which go by the name of Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires

Vermillion offer up a four song album that lasts 40 minutes, so you know that you’ll be required to think when listening to this one, right? Well, not really. Vermillion’s brand of mid 1990s-Louisville-emo-math-punk stuff (e.g. Rodan, June of ‘44, Shipping News, Slint) is actually much prettier sounding than the majority of abrasive and aggressive stuff to come out of Louisville in those glorious times. Don’t get me wrong, Vermillion will challenge the novice listener to no end (my wife said that this CD drove her crazy and made her want to kill herself). It’s just that Vermillion have had all of the greats to use as a reference point. So it seems that they have taken the best of each of those bands and added some metalcore, creating a truly remarkable record.

The band did have help from some pretty able hands, though. Mr. Steve Albini turned the knobs on this one, and his trademark heavy drum and bass sound is all over it. So, if you can imagine that Rodan never broke up, just kept playing together, getting better and better and experimented with metal, you have a nice approximation of what this monster sounds like (there’s even a Rachel’s-esque part at the beginning of the second track).

This one’s a keeper, all the way. What I’ve never understood are kids who listen to nu-metal crap like Linkin Park, just to annoy their parents; why not give your parents something to really complain about? Let me introduce you to Vermillion!

Redwood Records:

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