BLUE CHEER — Vincebus Eruptum (review)

BLUE CHEER — Vincebus Eruptum album cover Album · 1968 · Heavy Psych Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Unitron
The birth of Heavy Metal. In simple terms, metal was born out of a combination of heavy blues rock and psychedelic rock. While metal has gone in several different directions, the earliest forms of metal from the 60's and 70's still live on, especially in the doom metal, grunge, and stoner scenes.

Blue Cheer might not have been the first band to make a metal song (that honor goes to either Riders of the Mark or Clear Light), but to my knowledge they were certainly the first metal band and Vincebus Eruptum the first metal album.

Vincebus Eruptum is one of the heaviest albums ever recorded, as it's dominated by such a wall of distortion that it sounds like their amps are about to blow. The recording technology at the time couldn't even pick up the pure volume. It works though, the playing is so frantic and primal that it all sounds like pure instinct.

The booming cover of Summertime Blues was their only hit, and it's good as are the other covers, but it's the original songs where this album shines. There's no better showcase on this album for heavy metal in full force than Doctor Please. The anxious vocals, booming distortion, the speed of the bridge, and the dark theme of the song all show the beginnings of the genre. Out of Focus and Second Time Around are great too, with the latter shining with wild drumming.

If there's any complaints I have, it's some of the jamming. I'm fine with jamming to an extent, but sometimes it sounds too much like noodling and gets a bit annoying. The following album Outsideinside would improve the band's sound, cutting the annoying jams and improving the production (Even though the production works for how this album sounds).

If you're used to the metal sound of the 80's and 90's or even the 70's, this might be a hard listen. It's really noisy, but every metal fan should hear this album if only to hear the genre's first real album.
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Unitron wrote:
3 months ago
Definitely, metal would've developed regardless of who did what. However, in terms of influence Blue Cheer is up there with Black Sabbath as being named dropped by countless bands. Though it's impossible to know how it would look otherwise.

Riders of the Mark only released one single unfortunately and it's pretty weird. Not the clear doom metal that Clear Light's Street Singer is, but still pretty metal considering how early it is.

3 months ago
I think it's a bit like with Black Sabbath. Metal was going going to happen. There were just too many people at that time who were playing around with darker, heavier music. In hindsight we can say, "It was Blue Cheer" or "It was Black Sabbath". Certainly both bands gave us defining elements and both bands would influence others. Yeah, metal would probably have been a little different but not so much. Perhaps?

I'll need to check out Outsideinside once more and that band you mentioned, Riders of the Mark.

Unitron wrote:
3 months ago
I prefer Outsideinside, which is probably my favorite metal album of the 60's, but this debut is probably the most important metal album ever made. Who knows what metal would look like had Blue Cheer not really kicked things off?
3 months ago
I love that riff in second Time Around. I originally bought this on vinyl in the late eighties and I still have the record. I finally bought the CD last year, I think it was. Yeah, the jams sometimes seem to go off key too. Dual guitar solos that seem to have no real direction other than to be crazy and loud. Still, a quintessential album in the history of metal music.

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