Vampires Everywhere! have gone through a lot of changes since their debut. They have a new drummer and bass player, and Michael Vampire has ditched the autotuned vocals for a more standard approach. Musically, the band has evolved as well, utilizing a lot of industrial and electronic elements along with harder edged guitars. There’s a definite Marilyn Manson influence.
Songs like “Drug Of Choice” have a gothic-tinged vibe with a dirty guitar tone offsetting the clinical industrial atmosphere. The tracks have plenty of punch, but tend to lack heart and soul. Vampire’s vocals, while better than the autotuned abomination of the last album, are underutilized. He sticks to abrasive screaming and a speaking/singing combination, limiting the possibilities.
There are some very catchy, radio-friendly songs on Hellbound And Heartless. “Kiss Of Death” and “Unholy Eyes" are a couple of the strongest tracks on the album. There’s also a cover of Nirvana’s “Rape Me.” I admire their ambition for tackling an iconic song by a beloved artist, and they definitely put their own spin on it.
Hellbound And Heartless has its share of flaws, but those who like Manson style industrial/gothic metal will certainly find plenty to enjoy here. The haters are still gonna hate, but Vampires Everywhere! have reinvented themselves, as vampires need to do so they can survive.
(released June 19, 2012 on Century Media Records)