My name is Balázs ‘Söpi’ Söptei, I’m the vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist of metal band Vanta. I’m from Budapest, Hungary. I’m a music fanatic, beer lover, and computer nerd.
Vanta is a sludge/stoner/doom metal duo, a project in which I make music together with my drummer friend Győző Mesterházy. We create gloomy and heavy noise, which is recognizable by the sound of a guitar tuned six feet under. We are pushing the limits of our instruments, and we experiment a lot. Sometimes we use odd time signatures. We are going to publish our first full-length album called ØK this year.
We have created a music video for “Zero Kelvin”, the most beautiful song on ØK, composed in collaboration with our cellist friend Márk Rostetter:
I have selected four of my favourite albums from the underground. I wrote a short review for each.
Caustic Casanova – God How I Envy The Deaf
I discovered Caustic Casanova, a promising band from Washington, D.C. and their album God How I Envy The Deaf in a Bandcamp music sharing themed Facebook group. It was a love-at-first-”sight” experience, the first song Fancy English made me stay for more.
What I like in this band the most is that they operate with both male and female vocals which sound great together. The 2019 album is the peak of their songwriting so far, with intriguing riffs and song structures, tempo and rhythmic switches (sometimes sludgy, sometimes punk-rock-esque), and tasteful vocal melodies. This is an album full of great ideas and wonderful moments. While you’re listening to it, your neurons are constantly stimulated.
My personal favorite is “Filth Castle” (besides Fancy English), where the points regarding the band’s composition skills are clearly observable. The live version of the song is available on the EP Lïve Läugh Löve Malört (released in December 2020), and it’s as tight as the one on the album.
Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination
I’m following a lot of promoters and labels so I came across the cover of the new Here Lies Man album quite a few times, which made me curious about the music. The band from Los Angeles, California brings the vibe of the 70s, Black Sabbath afrobeat crossover they say, my impression was something like a more guitar-heavy version of the Budos Band, one of my old favorites.
I listened to the band’s earlier albums, among which No Ground To Walk Upon was my favorite… until I heard Ritual Divination. Here Lies Man will not disappoint you, you are going to find stoned riffs mixed with exotic percussions and exciting keyboard tunes… and of course, the ubiquitous 1970s feeling.
It is hard to choose a favorite in this continuously strong psychedelic flow of music. If I had to pick one, I’d choose “I Told You (You Shall Die)”. However, I prefer to listen to Ritual Divination from start to finish, it’s really good for the soul.
Wojtek – Does This Dream Slow Down, Until It Stops?
I had the pleasure to meet Wojtek in Budapest where we had a last-minute show together in 2019. These sludge metal master friends of mine and I have been in touch and I follow their activity. They have recently published their new EP called Does This Dream Slow Down, Until It Stops?.
I loved Wojtek’s previous EP Hymn For The Leftovers, and the new one is even better in many ways: sound, song structures, riffs, composition, and arrangement. Their current material is brutally heavy and full of bittersweet melodies at the same time, and has astonishing balance between beauty in insanity.
I like” Catacomb” the best because I find its riffs so inspiring as a guitarist. Besides, I enjoy how the merciless frenzy of drums, guitars and distorted screams slowly dissolves in layers of wonderful guitar leads.
Convulsif – Extinct
Convulsif’s work has been introduced to me by my friend (and Vanta’s drummer) Győző. My first encounter was the song “Reason Of Sleep”, and as I heard the heavy bass driven rhythm and the distorted ambient layers of violin and clarinet, I was already a fan.
The first encounter happened in summer 2020. Later that year, Convulsif’s latest album Extinct was released. Extinct feels like a symphony of noise rock, doom metal, drone, and jazz, with slowly emerging patterns built on massive ostinatos. The album is full of energy, the rhythmic dominance of bass and drums reminds me of the golden age of Primus (check out “Surround the arms of revolution”, for instance), but in Convulsif’s music the vibe is determined by the clarinet and violin oscillating between calm and psychotic states.
If you like experimental stuff, this is definitely for you.