Heavy Song of the Week is a feature on Heavy Consequence breaking down the top metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week, the top spot goes to “Real Doll Time” by VR Sex.
The sophomore album from VR Sex, Rough Dimension, was one of the strongest full-lengths of 2022 and proved that the band was far more than just a Drab Majesty side-project. Although Andrew Clinco’s distinctive vocals make that comparison immediate and obvious, VR Sex tended to operate in a bleaker style of gothic darkwave that wore its Wax Trax and 4AD influences proudly.
This week, VR Sex announced their new album, Hard Copy, which features an expanded four-piece lineup, and the band’s new sound can be previewed on lead single “Real Doll Time.”
Not surprisingly, there is more emphasis on live instrumentation and guitars now, as compared to Rough Dimension, putting this more in line with the post-punk of Chrome and Magazine rather than early Ministry. Clinco even dishes out some hooky melodies — far sing-songier than anything on the last album — though the band’s characteristic murk remains at the forefront. A delightfully unsettling tune.
Amigo the Devil – “The Mechanic”
The latest offering from the upcoming Amigo the Devil album, Yours Until the War is Over, is another poetic opus from the dark-folk troubadour. “The Mechanic” details a struggling romance, as Amigo sings beautifully-worded lines like, “Like a dog that keeps whining but you love how it sounds so you let it go hungry to hear it/ Your shirts are all stained with the blood dripping out/ And the problem gets harder to hide/ Did we only let go to know we’d have something to find?”
BIG|BRAVE – “I Felt a Funeral”
“I Felt a Funeral” — the lead single from BIG|BRAVE’s forthcoming album A Chaos of Flowers — begins with a solo vocal section from singer-guitarist Robin Wattie, with the music slowly emerging as a gradual rising tide behind her before blossoming into a full-on drone metal symphony. The band has an innate ability to seamlessly blend compositional direction with improvisation — a trait that carried over to the song’s striking black-and-white video.
Ihsahn – “The Distance Between Us”
Ihsahn’s new album is setting up to be a symphonic black metal epic. “The Distance Between Us” offers another glimpse into the project, which sees the Norwegian pioneer exploring both the progressive metal and orchestral sides of his repertoire. On this track, lush string sections and film-score-esque textures give way to icy blasts of black metal, with clean and harsh vocals implemented to compliment the respective moods. Ihsahn’s accomplice in prog Devin Townsend lends backing vocals to the cleans.
Chelsea Wolfe – “Everything Turns Blue”
The prominent electronic beat in “Everything Turns Blue” casts a trip-hop vibe that works exceptionally well with Chelsea Wolfe’s voice. The track flows from alluringly minimal sections — just Wolfe and the deliberate pulse of the beat — to expansive blasts that drench Wolfe in effects and cacophonous reverb, using her voice as an instrument.