“The Midwest is such a tabula rasa.” – Richard Powers, author

As a nearly lifelong Indiana resident (save for a couple of glorious, highly caffeinated years in Seattle), I’ve definitely become acquainted with the ugly side of the middle region of the country. I mean, sure…many of the stories thrown around bear at least a sliver of truth, in regards to how bleak and generally messed up this part of the country is on a daily basis. I can honestly attest to legitimately fearing for my life on a few different occasions throughout my life thus far, and I owe it all to the churning sea of slobbering redneck idiots I, along with my circle of friends, was all but drowning in through much of our younger years in our close-minded pit of a “hometown.” But I can hear people asking, “What about your time in Seattle?!”, and to that I’ll say that I felt safer there than in my hometown. I’m talking about the kind of violent shit that is inflicted upon anyone that’s in any way different. Difference isn’t something that the close-minded find difficulty in pointing out, here in the Midwest. Difference can bring verbal abuse and black eyes…but difference can also show just who’s bringing something new to the table, with unapologetic realness and emotion. Some people can, in fact, stare a threat in the eye and hand it back tenfold…drenched in creativity, substance, and an air of undeniable rebellion from convention.

Enter Ohio’s very own masters of doom-meets-black metal sorcery, Vit. Rumor has it that these guys are the last remnants of a shrouded cult from the mysterious town of Swansylvania. Meanwhile, others will claim that the band’s home base is actually Columbus, Ohio. Gritty as hell and completely void of glitz or polish, The Dry Season (Handshake Inc.) is comprised of four devastating ditties that drag the listener into the type of Midwest experience you never hear about in the press. This is the kind of stuff that mercilessly throws you into the pit headfirst, for a closer look at what you’ve ignored for far too long. Vit stitches slow, sludgy doom and furiously seething black metal together, with the end result being a beast able to turn the bible belt to ash. That assault is not without its experimentally-minded acoustic moments. Witness the introduction to the title track, or the entirety of closer, “And The Rain That Soon Followed”, for any needed proof of that sentiment. Elsewhere, opener “16 Bodies” opens the bloodied gates to fly-over country misanthropy in excellent fashion…whereas “excellent fashion” indicates that you should very quickly become aware of what kind of blissful, cornfield-infested nightmare this all-too-brief but nonetheless destructive record was spawned from.

Yes, for many, the Midwest is truly the horrific manifestation of torture…Hell on Earth. It is with The Dry Season, that Vit has successfully submitted their harsh contribution to the soundtrack of life in such a treacherous wasteland. If one has ever perceived the mid-section of the U.S. to be a blank slate, then it should be vastly apparent that Vit has just carved their own jagged, bleeding mark across that surface. A celebratory bonfire is most definitely deserved!