WL//WH Review: VORTEX EMPATH XEN’s ravishing new feast in “Between Worlds” LP

Album Review  Vortex Empath Xen

Vortex Empath Xen

The whole case came like this! Fab forwarded me an email where I read “please play us on your show, thanks!”, yeah. Obviously they meant Loud Cities radio show where I spin quite a lot of similar musings, but then again when I carefully re-read the whole letter I saw that I’m gonna die quite well with this album before I even put it on the stereo. You see, these two young and fine ladies from California are also involved in Oakland’s art-punk deathrockers Moira Scar (heartsheartshearts)!!! WTF I thought, I’ll also present this album with an article!!!

Introducing Lu Lucifer Gamma Ray and Roxzan “Roxy Monoxide” Zatan also as V.E.X., Vortex Empath Xen, and their bizarre new album ‘Between Worlds’, which is a killer! The music was recorded on analog 8-track to make sure that everything is gonna sound warm and according to the band’s purposes that are all emerging from the area’s sonic witchhunt, yes! In one simple word, V.E.X. plays with this peculiar addiction called ‘Deathrockrules’, and they blend it with some twisted industrial spices all over their pretty audacious deathwave, a bliss! Also, put in the jar a few surreal doom noise synth-punk toxins, and there you have it, the poison of your dreams! No jokes, Lu Lu and Roxy created a genuinely bizarre record and they did it well. It is crystal clear (what an oxymoron phrase for this circumstance) that both of them are skilled players with acute sensors on all things V.E.X. ‘Between Worlds’ is a performance of things and surprises all the way to its very ending. Funny and weird but ultimately not at all by chance, they chose the closing track of the album as the first single and the first video from it.

“Deathbird” is

a ceremony a witch’s dance a cathartic spell a mourning an acknowledgment a falling into the underworld a rising up from the ashes, delving deep into our true core and shedding the false self, bringing together the lost souls, celebrating the dead and preparing the living, transformation is at hand, we are all playing a part – they quote!

And if you think that the rest of their music may sound exactly like that song, universe you are mistaken! Try the opener ‘Crime Of Existence’ for a taste of horror-punk minimalized to its core. Try ‘Demon Dimension’ for a trial in deathrock on the most minimal-beat. ‘Snake I’ to hear an exercise of deconstructed industrialism, weird and striking at the same time. Deathwave’s roots you’ll find in ‘Dancing At The End Of Time’. The primal darkwave axiom as it initially came from the no-wave radical in ‘Lunatic Fringe’. Stay a bit in ‘Exile’, you’ll understand why I mention this one and drop me a message if you can give it a plain tag rather than just ‘something minimal’. Oh, and let it roll to ‘Split Orb’ for further explanations on the previous one. Last, I’d like to mention the core psyche of V.E.X. and their album, I simply copy-paste this; we are fully underground all DIY freaks to the core and we would appreciate your support…! Some things must be heard and some things must be screamed out loud from all of us in the same pitch.

Here is ‘Between Worlds’ album!!!

CD release by Psychic Eye Records, Oakland Ca.
Cassette release by Teen Action Records, San Francisco Ca.
European release by Batcave Productions, Wroclaw Poland 

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Written by Loud Cities Mike