Some people cultivated sourdough. Others blew through jigsaw puzzles. Still others adopted pets. For Colter Niendorf and Christian Kee of Durango black metal band “Vile Aesthetic,” they created their debut album, “To Bloom and Flourish from Utter Rot.”
The band, with Niendorf on guitars and vocals and Kee on bass, has been together since 2018. Niendorf said the band is inspired by the forefathers of the genre: Think Gorgoroth, Bathory and Darkthrone – the big, cold, haunting sound that works perfectly here in Colorado in the fall when it gets dark early and the night air has a freezing bite.
“To Bloom and Flourish from Utter Rot” was recorded in Denver with the help of session drummer Evan Barton and engineer Pete deBoer with World Famous Studios.
And the timing of starting work on a debut album couldn’t have been weirder, Niendorf said. The band began production on the album on the eve of the COVID-19 shutdowns and the uncertainty that came with it in 2020.
To order a copy of Vile Aesthetic’s debut album, “To Bloom and Flourish from Utter Rot,” check out the band’s Bandcamp page, https://bit.ly/3bim0kX.
You can also find out more about Vile Aesthetic on:
The band’s website: www.vileaesthetic.com
“Our session drummer Evan, we flew him to Denver right when the pandemic started unfolding, flights were being canceled. When we flew him back to North Carolina, Denver International was a ghost town, a complete ghost town. It was really eerie,” he said. “We were supposed to go see Mayhem Friday, March 13, that got canceled and we were going to make that the whole trip. That got canceled. We came into the studio on the 14th, and then we were just seeing article after article on the internet just like, ‘This is shut down,’ ‘All nonessential businesses need to close down,’ and we were getting just progressively more unnerved about everything going on, and we were like, ‘Oh, we’ll just keep on truckin’, we just kept planning the album.”
Niendorf said he and Kee had driven up to Denver and weren’t sure they’d be able to make it back to Durango.
“We were so uncertain about it because it was unfolding in just such real time that we were like we were just being hermits the whole time that week. We were just casually in our bubble – we felt like the world was just crumbling apart and we were just kind of like in this cozy little basement. It was a really surreal experience,” he said. “We didn’t know what lockdowns and future lockdowns, were going to entail. We were kind of discussing amongst ourselves – are we even going to be able to back to Durango? Are we going to come into Durango city limits and see a barrier with like guards standing there being like, ‘Nope. No one’s going in or out.’ That sounds extreme, but our minds were just going to the worst places when we weren’t sure what the future held for us.
“It was just weird for everyone, I think. That fear if the unknown.”
The album itself took about five days to record at deBoer’s home studio and another few to mix and master, Niendorf said, adding that the album is a long time coming.
“To Bloom and Flourish from Utter Rot” debuts Friday (Oct. 29). It’s available on CD, digital album and vinyl (pre-order), along with other merch on the band’s bandcamp site – https://bit.ly/3vUyZm3.