Italian ‘zine Vincebus Eruptum continues to impress with its dedication. When it comes to issue number 16, the interviews with Colour Haze, Sula Bassana, Blood Ceremony, Church of Misery and Telstar Sound Drone are cool enough, but I think the most telling thing about the passion driving the publication is in the letter from editor Davide “Davidew” Pansolin. He gives a pretty basic rundown of what’s happening with the “Vincebus Eruptum Cultural Association” — which is awesome — but more than that, he plugs the album release for Vista Chino, which would’ve been coming out as the issue was finalized.
That doesn’t seem like a huge deal, right? I suppose it’s not, and that’s precisely the point. Pansolin didn’t need to plug the Vista Chino release. He gains nothing by having done so, but instead of ignoring it or just having an album review in with the bevvy of others, he calls it, “a key event for any heavy-psych head who kept following this genre for 20 years.” He’s absolutely right. It was a huge question mark as to whether or not John Garcia and Brant Bjork would be able to pull off a return to the desert rock spirit of Kyuss with that record, but that he’d come out of nowhere like that and bring it up, it lets you know how important he really feels marking the “event” is, how much it means to him personally.
Especially from a self-made ‘zine, that kind of human passion is ridiculously admirable, because the issue itself — all Vincebus Eruptum‘s issues, really — stand 100 percent in testament as the realization of it. They are that passion made product. It’s something I strive for with this site and do so precisely because I admire it so much in people like Pansolin, in Walter Roadburn, in my wife, in Scott Small Stone, and so many others. Every time I get to read a new batch of reviews from Pansolin and his crew, it makes me want to listen to music, to buy new albums and hear new things, expose myself to something I haven’t heard before.
And this time, particularly in the reviews section, amid a tapestry of European acts — of course Italy is well represented as always, with Black Rainbows, Blizzard of Lizard, Doomraiser, Giobia and others, including plenty from Go Down Records — it’s encouraging to see a number of American bands, whether it’s The Freeks, Dali’s Llama, Geezer, Luder or Naam. Could it be that American heavy psych is gaining recognition in the European scene?
I’m always glad to check out the next issue of Vincebus Eruptum and I look forward to digging deeper into these interviews and reviews, but at this point, the ‘zine itself is just a part of what they do. Vincebus Eruptum Recordings has a number of limited vinyl releases in the works from the likes of Sendelica (who are also reviewed in this issue), Da Captain Trips and the The Grand Astoria offshoot, Organic is Orgasmic, and more in the works.
The bottom line is the same, though, whether it’s the mag itself or the label, and it’s that Vincebus Eruptum is an enterprise fueled by love of music and love of heavy psych particularly, and it continues to set a standard worthy of aspiration.