Vampires are taking over the music world. So many bands are jumping on the trend and it gets a little overwhelming to have so many makeup-wearing, costume laden men singing about being vampires or killing them. So, Fearless Vampire Killers seem to fit right into this strange, dramatic “fantasy” genre.
Except they don’t. Quickly you realize that nothing this fledgling band does is expected. Nothing they do fits into a neat and tidy box with a perfectly definitive label.
With their debut ’Militia of the Lost,‘ Fearless Vampire Killers take you into their created world of Grandomina, where the burning down of the palace sets of a chaotic chain of events that the band gets in the middle of. Yes, this is a concept album, reminiscent of Forgive Durden’s musical ’Razia’s Shadow’.
This all sounds a bit strange for a debut album – concept albums are tricky to pull off, and the vampire thing is a tad overdone. Yet, despite the odds working against them, the band is able to take a grand, theatrical compilation of songs and make them work. Each song is able to stand on its own without a back story. You hardly even know this is a concept album – and that is a really good thing.
Let’s get into the music. The band is somehow able to take elements from musical theatre, church choir, classic rock, pop punk, and heavy metal and mix it all together to make a coherent, interesting song. Consistently.Tracks like the opener ‘Necromania’ and ‘Concede. Repent. Destroy.’ are examples of the bands superior genre blending skills.
Some tracks lean a bit towards one genre, though. ’Could We Burn, Darling?’ and ‘Bite Down on Winchester (There’s A Reckoning A’Coming)’ sound strait out of the early 2000s era pop-punk-the dual front men Kier Kemp and Laurence Beveridge seem to channel Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump almost exactly, which shows just how well these two are able to use their voices. ‘Fetish for the Finite’ and ‘At War with Thirst’ have a heavy classic-rock vibe, and ‘The Pleasure of Pain’ is strait out of a musical theatre number. The sheer number of genres the band is able to successfully employ is amazing.
Hoever, the band seems to get a bit distracted with everything going on. ‘Palace in Flames’ gets overdramatic and heavy-handed. Some tracks, like ‘Bleed Till Sunrise’ gets lost in the album and the bizarre ballad ‘Mascara Tears and Vanilla Spice’ ends the album on a very confused note.
Overall, though, Fearless Vampire Killers absolutely do kill it with ’Militia of the Lost.’ There is something to be said about a band that simply cannot be placed in a single genre, and they dodge categorization while presenting something completely fresh and new to the scene.
‘Militia Of The Lost’ by Fearless Vampire Killers is available now on Goremount Records.
Words by Jenny Bauer