VHS - Lenzi

VHS have been around since 2016 but have quite a prolific discography between full length albums, singles, splits, and EPs for a collection of horror movie inspired death thrash mixed with grindcore. The band is known for adding in movie samples for atmospheric effect, and while at some points it can be a little cheesy when considering an album like “We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs,” the effect is still pretty entertaining. 

Currently on their EP “Lenzi” the band goes a bit out of their comfort zone with only 2 tracks, but they are really pushing the limit for their work. While VHS are usually more in the speedy grindcore vein of time with tracks ranging from 3 minutes to 1 minute, these stretch well past the 9 minute mark. ‘Primitive And Pissed Off’ opens things in more slow, sludgy moody death metal style in the vein of darker Immolation or Incantation. It seems almost very different because usually these guys are very thrash oriented, and here the music just seems to trudge along like the living dead. It might come off as boring for those who are used to the faster bits, but these Canadians certainly know how to set the mood to keep listeners entertained despite this shift. While more doom than anything, perhaps the most powerful moment is the middle of the track where the vocals and drums just coincide together with their grunts and percussive thumping, much like the menacing quiet from ‘Crossroads To Armageddon’ by Six Feet Under.

Those who are looking for faster will enjoy ‘Crispy Skinned Maniacs’ which has more thrash influences along with samples. Still a bit doom influenced, the ferocity levels are upped here for sure. While the samples can go on for a bit much, letting listeners get a taste of the drums and slower riffs, overall this one is probably more along the lines of what VHS fans are used to. The slow stomping grindcore elements in the vein of Napalm Death are pretty clear here, though the music certainly doesn’t hit quite as hard. This is going to be a bit of a polarizing album for a lot of fans due to the shift in style, but overall those who like slower death metal set to 80s horror will still enjoy it, even if it isn’t a steamrolling grindcore machine. 

3 / 5 STARS

1. Primitive and Pissed Off
2. Crispy Skinned Maniacs