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Vampyrouss - A Dark Desire (3/10) - Great Britain - 2009

Genre: Gothic Metal
Label: Casket Music
Playing time: 31:16
Band homepage: Vampyrouss


  1. The Trial Of Temperance Lloyd
  2. Your Web
  3. Her Portrait Eyes
  4. A Dark Desire
  5. Nostalgia And The Cursed
  6. The Soft Wind Serenades The Silver Shore
  7. Reflections Of The Past
  8. Roses For My Immortal
Vampyrouss - A Dark Desire

Gothic Metal can be pretty hit-or-miss sometimes.  Sometimes you get wonderfully catchy, atmospheric tracks filled with just the right amount of brooding heaviness, and other times you get an angst-ridden mess.  If you’re really unlucky, you might get something as whacked-the-fuck-out as VAMPYROUSS.


The album’s short minute-and-a-half intro, “The Trial Of Temperance Lloyd,” misleads the listener into thinking “A Dark Desire” might be decent.  It’s a neat little violin ditty that seems to be the setup for something vaguely epic, but in the end it only breeds disappoint.  The one thing that carries over from the intro is the Folk theme, but its presence throughout the album simply isn’t enough to salvage it.


The first half-minute of “Your Web” also seems to promise something Classical and epic, but then vocalist Kazraine Ruthven Maars gets on the mic and proceeds to emit a sound so foul I’m still having trouble comprehending what he’s doing.  His vocal style appears to be a snarly form of spoken-word swathed in so much distorted reverb that the only sounds one can make out are the sharp consonants.  I’m not sure what they were aiming for here with this utterly incomprehensible vocal technique.  Is this what they figure a singing vampire sounds like?


From that point on, “A Dark Desire” goes from bad to worse.  There are a few brief moments of respite when Maars refrains from raping his microphone long enough to allow the violin some time in the spotlight, but they’re almost completely overshadowed by the overall level of pain caused by the rest of the album.  I love cheesy music, and it takes something quite special to make me actually laugh at an album, but come on.  This album is ridiculous.

(Online July 17, 2009)

Mitchel Betsch

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