Vestiges was created in January 2010 and incorporates black metal, hardcore, crust, screamo, and post-rock. Their first album, The Descent of Man is the first installment of their planned narrative. The band remains completely anonymous and the album plays as one song, broken into sections. Lyrically the album deals with the creation, evolution, and eventual decay of mankind. Dark subject matter for dark times, Vestiges are here to embrace the truth and to illustrate what has gone wrong with the earth.
A quiet ambient introduction begins and sets the mood for the record. Soon after, a clean guitar enters along with nature soundscapes as “Part I” begins. The first aspect about the band that struck me was the quality of the recording. Obviously Vestiges is very serious about their music because they have taken much effort to make sure the record receives the highest quality production while still maintaining very natural, live performance grit.
Brooding doom sections give way to fast blast beats then to somber clean sections. The vocal style is a combination of a harsh black metal growl and a hardcore yell. The vocals fit the music perfectly and add the right amount of aggression. The ability of Vestiges to transition from black metal to doom to d-beat sections effectively is a major strength of the band. There is no forced influence.
‘Part I’ transitions into an upbeat beginning of ‘Part II.’ Blast beats soon explode with huge chords from the guitars. “Part IV” and “Part V” have a slightly different feel from the first three movements. Beginning very slowly, soon the listener is met with the same aggression and dynamic contrast apparent in the first three movements. The final lyrics read, “Let our bodies replenish the earth, for the true color of man has shown.” A very strong and intense ending occurs with slow hits of the ending chords. The “Outro” is a final ambient summary of the last movement and soon succumbs to noise and faint voices in the distance.
You can definitely hear influence from Alter of Plagues and Fall of Efrafa all over the record. Vestiges uses strengths of each genre of influence to their advantage. I strongly recommend The Descent of Man. It is a very powerful, intense, yet delicate work that will impress from the first listen.
Make sure to catch the band on their Winter 2010/2011 tour with Vit!
You can purchase the record in various hand numbered vinyl and CD formats here