October 1, 2021 Vampires Everywhere – The Awakening (EP Review)
Back in 2010, the musical world was a very different place. Over in the Warped Tour camp, bands like Pierce the Veil and Attack Attack were seeing their heyday, Andrew W.K. was making the party wet, Bring Me the Horizon was still Deathcore, and the likes of Mayday Parade and Motionless In White were beginning to see all their hard work pay off. It was a scene in need of a reckoning handed down by a few men in black: and thus, Vampires Everywhere was born.
Their history is a complicated thing that involves plenty of fang-banging, two exits, The Killing Lights, one reformation, and three full-length releases—2011’s Kiss the Sun Goodbye, 2012’s Hellbound and Heartless, and 2016’s Ritual. Most importantly, all of this is what brings us to the here and now, where Frontman Michael Orlando (a.k.a. Michael Vampire) has resurrected his bloodsuckers for the second time. And to pique your interest, these lost boys are issuing a 5-song EP, The Awakening, on Friday, October 1, 2021 via Cleopatra Records.
Orlando hasn’t exactly been sitting idle. A prolific creator, he has been recording and touring with his other love, Dead Girls Academy, delivering two full-lengths—2018’s Alchemy and 2020’s Doves in Glass Houses—as well as touring alongside friends like Falling In Reverse. So when a global pandemic forces downtime, what is a man who once wanted to reinvigorate Metalcore to do?
Along with Guitarist Craig Pirtle, who also attends the Dead Girls Academy, Orlando has returned to his bloodsucking days. Considering that the musical climate has changed dramatically over the past five years, and everyone is suddenly offended by everything, the reborn Vampires Everywhere are going to have to contend with some new stakes. But, for now, all they want is to reintroduce themselves to their fellow children of the night with The Awakening EP.
Composed of five songs, which includes one cover, the EP is a perfect sampler of what Vampires Everywhere 3.0 is set to offer fans. Simultaneously channeling Bring Me the Horizon, Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister,” and Shotgun Messiah, they cross fluidly between Gothic Rock, Metalcore, 1980’s cinematic feels, and Synthpop, refusing to be pigeon-holed into any one genre. Which is wonderful, yet it lacks a cohesion as just four original tracks. Instead, like a sample platter, The Awakening focuses on displaying the multiple facets of their improved sound, thereby reigniting interest in the band.
It all kicks off with “WITCH,” a sensual yet pulverizing kiss that harnesses the ferocity of 2010’s Metalcore scene and brings it into 2021. “Death of Me” also plays with the standard ‘core structure, but with less efficacy than its predecessor. While not a bad song by any means, it doesn’t hold the same power as its sisters, like the catchy Gutter Rock of “Timebomb.”
But as the EP all too quickly begins to wind toward a close, Orlando opts to toy with us. His cover of The Weeknd’s “The Hills” is ironically the heaviest track on the EP, combining Gothic Rock elements to present the song in a way we guarantee you have never heard the 2015 hit before. The ultimate tease, however, comes in the form of “Suffocate Me,” which experiments with a 1980’s cinematic feel, perfectly displaying the band’s phenomenal range.
We’re still not entirely sure who Vampires Everywhere intend to be in 2021, musically speaking, but if The Awakening is any indication, they have plenty of satisfying tricks up their lacey sleeves. At just four original tracks, it serves as a solid whetting of the appetite for a full-length, and reminds listeners of the power of combining seemingly disparate genres to create a bold sound. So if Gothic Rock kissing 2010’s Metalcore beneath a black parasol at Warped Tour sounds paranormally good to you, may we point out that you no longer have to live in Santa Carla to find Vampires Everywhere! For this, Cryptic Rock gives The Awakening EP 4 out of 5 stars.