Hold onto your ears, eyes and wallet, because Italian ‘zine Vincebus Eruptum is back with Issue No. 15, the latest on their ongoing effort to expand consciousness of the worldwide heavy underground. Printed on high-quality paper stock with a thicker, glossier feel than ever before, Vincebus Eruptum earns even more respect for keeping analog in a digital world. As someone who works for a “living” in print media, I have a hard time checking out this mag every time it comes in and not being insanely jealous of editor Davide “Davidew” Pansolin and his staff’s free-ranging will to explore the depths and uncover new and awesome bands.
This time around, the focus is as ever on the European heavy sphere. The one US-based band interviewed is Carlton Melton, from California, but with Ireland’s Electric Taurus, Scotland’s The Cosmic Dead, Swedish acts Skånska Mord and Spiders, and Italy’s own Doctor Cyclops (Vincebus Eruptum is famously supportive of its native scene and rightly so), there’s a decent spread of styles and geography. Not being familiar with a few of those names — Carlton Melton, Electric Taurus — it was cool to get to know them before I got to know them, and as ever, the reviews section reads like a wishlist in the making, with records from Karma to Burn, Vibravoid and Eternal Elysium alongside recent outings from less known names like Mombu, Orrenda Acciaieria and Sendelica — the very first release on the ‘zine’s own Vincebus Eruptum Recordings.
Kudos to Davidew and company for branching out — and for very subtly informing their readership that they’ve done so — but for anyone who’d really want to dig into the European underground, Vincebus Eruptum #15 offers the “Stoned Handbook” guide to the German scene. Put together in collaboration with Stonerrock.eu, it’s a list of bands, venues, promotion outlets and labels, that might not look very in-depth on the surface, but nonetheless provides an excellent research platform from which to explore, and whether you wind up checking out Ahab or Low Gravity Circus or Zone Six as a result, you’re not going to lose out, and by just providing the list like they do, Vincebus Eruptum actually plays it pretty smart in understanding how print and online media can work together: “Here’s what you should be Googling next,” and so forth. Awesome.
I’ve made overtures of my ongoing respect for the pub before, and that continues for this latest issue, and even if you look at the quality of people taking out ads — Sulatron, Small Stone, Elektrohasch, Desertfest, Go Down, Heavy Psych Sounds – it’s a testament to the quality of Vincebus Eruptum that they’re thriving in an age where print media is supposedly in full decline. Right on and keep up the great work. It continues to be a pleasure each time a new edition shows up.