VexTëmper debut album released today featuring Frankie Kazarian
VexTëmper takes listeners on a heavy journey through the deserts of Southern California with their self released debut album Doom Engine, set for digital release on Friday, April 7.
From anthemic burners like lead single “MPH” to the complexity and power of “Live 45”, Doom Engine demonstrates the temperate and spiritual extremes of the region the band calls home. The album is layered with atmospheric sounds, including 1970s recordings of Yucca Valley thunder, rain and wind used in the 10-plus minute epic “I, Desert”.
“Of all the songs on the album, that’s the one that we worked the longest on,“ Kazarian said of “I, Desert”. “It worked through so many incarnations… A lot of people I know in 2017, their attention span can’t handle (a 10 minute song), but we kind of said ‘Screw it, this is our band, this is what we’re going to do.’”
Guitarist Jake Rich said VexTëmper’s Southern California surroundings are a massive influence on the band, helping them shape their “Desert Metal” sound that is as much about vibe as it is about sonic intensity.
“Desert Metal is derived from the stark desolation that is unique to the desert. Its big and bombastic, and then it’s quiet,” Rich said. “It’s the soft stir of the sand and the ear splitting crack of a thunderbolt. It’s a different approach to metal. It’s story telling backed by heavy riffs and theatrical elements.”
VexTëmper’s “Desert Metal” classification began as an inside joke among the band members, ribbing on the countless genres and subgenres in metal. But as the band began to collect their sound leading up to Doom Engine, the term became a perfect fit.
“It’s the same way that the guys in Black Sabbath played music that fit their surroundings,” Kazarian said. “The factory setting and the doldrums and clouds, where everything is depressing and dark. It’s kind of the soundtrack to (our) gimmick – the vibe of the desert, the mystique, the magic and the serenity.”
Gimmicks are a familiar concept to Kazarian, who is an international pro wrestling star with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Kazarian shares his metal pride through his in ring gimmick “The Heavy Metal Rebel”, and by using the Doom Engine track “Get Addicted” for his tag team with Ring of Honor champion Christopher Daniels, The Addiction.
VexTëmper plan to keep the momentum rolling through the release of Doom Engine with a bounty of new material on the horizon.
“A lot of our new material was written during the recording sessions of Doom Engine, so in a sense we are just picking up where we left off. We actually put many of our ideas ‘in the vault’ so to speak, ensuring that we didn’t put everything on the first record,” Rich said.
Doom Engine was recorded at Black Cat Studios in Yucca Valley from September to December of 2016. The album was produced by VexTëmper, mixed by Jake Rich and mastered by Chris Unck at High Lonesome Studios in Joshua Tree, CA.
VexTëmper’s Doom Engine is available Friday, April 7 on Spotify and iTunes.
VexTëmper Line Up:
Ed Nemechek – rhythm guitar
Frankie Kazarian – bass guitar
Jake Rich – lead guitar
Justin Harvey – drums
The Waltz – lead vocals
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