Viper Soup Complex – Red Fugue

Review by Rainer Kerber

Viper Soup Complex, an unusual name for an unusual band. Viper Soup Complex is one of many bands on the sunny island of Malta. The band was founded in 2012. So far I have been able to experience the band twice, in 2016 at Metal Over Malta and 2017 at the Voices of the Succubi Festival. And both were extraordinary shows with a unique stage performance. At MoM hang the setlist in the form of a menu card on the edge of the stage. And the five songs that were played two years ago have now been recorded in the studio. They form the basis of the recently released debut album.

Annemarie and her bandmates tell a story, a story that is extremely surreal. From the obsessive love of a woman to a swan ( “Choking Swans”). Because the bird supposedly does not reciprocate this affection, it strangles him. (Let me forgive the simplification of this psychological problem). On stage, then the swan feathers fly. To describe the emotional life of a woman, Viper Soup Complex uses a variety of stylistic devices of progressive rock and metal. Hectic melody and rhythm changes, hectic musical competition of guitar and keyboard. And the story of the woman continues, so she sets a trap, a trap for a man in turquoise clad who comes from Mars (“Turquoise on Mars”). The woman manipulates the man’s mind and body (“Taxidermy Hotel”). The singer shows all facets of her voice here, from powerful clear vocals to operatic soprano to angry growls. She flatters, she manipulates, she commands. And for this story, the musicians spend a lot of time. Apart from the melodic instrumental interlude “Embers”, no song is shorter than six minutes. “Taxidermy Hotel” and “Vertebra” are even longer than twelve minutes. The closing song “Vertebra” also shows parallels between this nightmarish narrative and actual life. Just as the captive man applauds the victory of his predator, many people also celebrate their governments completely without prejudice. Even if they exploit the people mercilessly.

Whew! “Red Fugue” is not easy to listen, musical neither thematically. Listening requires the utmost attention. Even if beautiful melodies are interspersed again and again. In all melodic and rhythmic changes, however, the album does not act distracted. Everything fits into the high-psychological theme. And the musicians have enough room to show their skills. Actually, a CD is not suitable for this kind of music. You have to experience this supreme power of inspiration, nightmare, performance and musical presentation live. Or visually staged by specially produced for each song video clips. I would still wish for the latter.

Viper Soup Complex – Turquoise on Mars:


Annemarie – Vocals, Stage Antics
Michael – Bass
David – Keyboards
Melchior – Drums
James – Guitars

Label: Self distributed

Out: October 22nd, 2018

Playing time: 52:11

Track list:

  • Choking Swans
  • Xenolithic Cold
  • Turquoise on Mars
  • Taxidermy Hotel
  • Embers
  • Vertebra

Rating : 8/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


Disturbingly Good


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