Earlier this week came the announcement for the impending release of Vigor Reconstruct, the benefits compilation for the family of Markov Soroko (Aureole, Tchornobog, Drown, Krukh, etc.). Featuring a mind-blowing bevy of extreme metal artists throughout the international underground, including USBM curmudgeonly bludgeoners Krieg, Rustbelt black metal folk gods Panopticon (who cover Kings X!), the debut of highly interesting newcomers Wærloga, as well as Lamp of Murmuur, Old Nick, Spectral Lore and so many others that even looking at them is distracting us from needing to tell our readers about this awesome comp.
Vigor Reconstruct was curated by our own Jon Rosenthal, who we contacted to see how this massive work came together. As of midnight, the 35-track compilation is now streaming in full and can be downloaded for a donation of $6.66.
A benefit for the Soroka Family
As metalheads from all over the world continue to donate and stream/download the compilation for the benefit of the Soroko family, we reached out to Jon to see how this enormous collection of songs came together.
“I honestly took a shotgun approach and tried to exhaust as many of my ‘music scene’ connections as I could,” Jon Rosenthal explains. He says he asked “both recent artists … like Old Nick, Despondent Moon, et cetera and stalwarts like Esoteric and Mare Cognitum, who both have worked with Markov in one way or another.”
Jon says, “It took a lot of phone calls, e-mails, Facebook messages, and talking through other people to get done, and it was all worth it, especially with how the compilation has performed thus far (it’s currently Thursday as I write this, so who knows how things will go when the compilation is out in full!).”
As for how he went about choosing the bands and artists featured on the compilation, Jon says, “It was a mix of [asking himself] ‘who would I like to see on a compilation,’ ‘which of my friends would like to participate in something like this,’ and ‘which artists care about Markov the most?’ You will find a variety of underground artists, be it Nocturno Volvo’s eurobeat cover of Darkthrone’s ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ (check out the rest of their EP on YouTube, it’s great!), Upir’s impenetrably raw black metal, or Zothique’s mysterious, atmospheric black metal (among many others) as well as established artists like the ones I listed above … We all wanted to come together to support a fellow person in need in an already tumultuous time.”
Jon goes on to explain that the compilation’s album cover “is an original painting by Portland artist Calvin Cushman (who has also done art for bands like Morgul Blade, who is also featured on this release).” Jon explains, “When I first started getting this compilation going, I surrounded myself with friends who would either be willing to help get the compilation going, or simply offer moral support (and jokes, lots of jokes). Calvin and Markov are good friends who spend a lot of time together, so it made a lot of sense to have him paint something new for this release.
“It should be said that we are raffling the original canvas painting off (as well as a few originals by intrepid metal illustrator Karmazid) over the next couple days!” Jon adds. “Each raffle ticket is $5, and you can send any multiple of that (for extra tickets—you can buy as many as you like) to [email protected] (friends and family, please!). We will announce the winners on the 5th.”
As for which songs on the compilation surprise him and stand out the most, he says, “They’re all surprising in their own way. I feel the most obvious surprise is Mare Cognitum and The Black Dahliar Murder’s Trevor Strnad’s Thin Lizzy cover, which is essentially a heavy metal reimagining of what was already a pretty heavy song. Hearing Trevor sing melodically was quite the treat! I hope everyone loves it as much as I (and the other members of the Vigor Reconstruct committee) do!”
Now that the compilation is out, Jon says, “It fills my heart to see so many people rally around Markov and their family in their time of need. We are all physically separated in these quarantined times, so we have to create a sense of community by other means. It took a lot of work to get this done, and I am eternally grateful to each and every artist who contributed, my friends who helped with and supported this project along the way, the good people at Bandcamp (especially Andy Osborn!), who offered tons of support, and everyone who has supported this benefit thus far!”