VAZUM – Single Review: “Double Stellium”

VAZUM is a deathgaze duo from Detroit, Michigan, consisting of Zach Pliska (vocals/guitar/drums) and Emily Sturm (vocals/bass). Combining elements of deathrock, goth, post-punk and shoegaze, they create their signature dark, haunting and melodic sound that sounds vaguely familiar, yet totally unlike anyone else I’ve heard. Since forming in 2017, the highly imaginative and prolific duo have released an impressive four albums, three EPs and nearly a dozen singles, all of which they produce, record, engineer and mix independently at their own Light Echo Studios.

I’ve followed VAZUM for over a year, and am finally featuring them on this blog on the occasion of the release of their latest single “Double Stellium“. Stellium is an astrological term that refers to when someone has at least three planets in one zodiac sign or house in their birth chart. Having a double stellium can be very intense with a lot of energy focused in specific areas. Both Zach and Emily have double stelliums in their astrological charts, hence the song’s theme and title.

The song blasts open with a jarring onslaught of shredded psychedelic guitars and explosive pummeling percussion, then settles into an eerily beautiful and melodic soundscape of industrial synths, those shredded guitars ever-present in the background. Halfway through, the music returns to the same intensity we heard at the beginning, before quickly calming back down, only to rev back up at the end for a final bombastic flourish. Zach and Emily’s echoed droning vocal harmonies are perfectly suited to the goth-flavored instrumentals, nicely enhancing the song’s overall haunting feel.

The lyrics are probably open to interpretation, but my take is that they speak to loving those close to us and living life to the fullest in the here and now, given the eventual certainty of death.

Soon it will claim us all
Drained, pale porcelain dolls
Swept in a sanguine pulse
Dark dreams, nothing else
Doesn’t really matter who we were
All that really matters

I’ll lie here with you till nightfall
I’ll bleed here in you till nightfall
I’ll lie here with you
There’s no end
I’ll bleed here in you
There’s no end

VAZUM also created and produced the trippy video for the track.

Connect with VAZUM: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Stream their music: SpotifyApple Music / SoundcloudYouTube

Purchase on Bandcamp

DIARY OF AN OUTLAW – Single Review: “BIGTIME”

Diary of an Outlaw

Diary of an Outlaw (DOA) is the music project of singer-songwriter, producer and director Angel Synn. He’s a kind and gracious guy too! Originally from Michigan, where he grew up both on a farm and in Detroit, Angel now calls Hollywood, California home. He was once frontman for the rock band Down In Hollywood, but took a long hiatus from music to care for his wife who eventually passed away from cancer. This past summer, he decided to get fully back in the game as Diary of an Outlaw, and started recording new songs. On December 4th, he released “BIGTIME“, a hard-driving banger of a tune that speaks to his passion for music and dreams of making it big. And after all the tough challenges and heartache he’s gone through, he’s now fearless in his quest, and nothing’s gonna deter him from doing everything possible to achieve his goal.

DOA gets right down to business, blasting through the airwaves with an explosive barrage of raging riffs and pummeling drumbeats. He’s a fine guitarist, shredding his guitar like a man hell-bent on destruction through much of the track, but then he lays down a tasty little solo in the bridge, accompanied by some scratching to create a nice, contrasting interlude before the onslaught returns in the final chorus. His raw, commanding vocals remind me a bit of Scott Stapp as he fervently sings “Can’t you feel the music rising like a cannonball straight from your veins? / See the party, feel the people giving energy. Kickin’ ass while I’m taking no names! I am headed for the bigtime!” Keep playing guitar like you do, and it’s guaranteed DOA!

Connect with Diary of an Outlaw:  FacebookTwitterInstagram
Stream his music:  SoundcloudReverbnation YouTube