Influenced by the stoner/desert grooves of Kyuss, QOTSA and Red Fang the band also started,whether consciously or sub-consciously, to absorb the relatively new sounds of the occult/doom scene that was sweeping across Europe at the time. These influences culminated in the band, now called Black Vulpine, releasing a stunning demo simply titled "Demo EP 2013" The demo contained three tracks of fuzzy stoner rock with a dark occult undercurrent and fronted by delicious female vocals.
Two years later and under the umbrella of Moment of Collapse records Black Vulpine recently released their debut album "Hidden Places".
"Hidden Places" shows a band who over the space of ten years have not only managed to stay together but have evolved as a band, a band who understand each other and who also understand how to write a good tune.
"Twisted Knife" kicks things off, it's QOTSA-like riff complimented by Sarah's smooth vocal delivery. Around the 2:40 mark the song takes a dark turn with the bass laying down a thick distorted doomy drone-like riff over which the guitars slur and slide taking the songs initial groove from sandy desert dunes to the gates of hell. It's a trick that's repeated throughout the albums eleven tracks.
Songs like "White Witch", "Demon Of Future" and " Avra Kadavra" are embellished with catchy hooks and melodies yet contain a dark underbelly that is both seductive and sinister.
This darkness is ramped up a notch or two on, what for me, are the albums three standout tracks "Devil's Blanket", "Mother of Pearl" and "Dark Glow", on these three songs the band shift away from those QOTSA comparisons and instead fully embrace the darker side of their sound. The guitars move away from the desert fuzz of previous numbers and take on a thicker deeper tone reminiscent of Seattle's Alice In Chains more darker moments.
Things come to a finale with "The Forest" its infectious riffs and sweet smooth vocals incorporating all the elements of the previous ten tracks and ending in a glorious howl of feedback.