Blue Cheer's debut album was recorded in 1967 at Amigo Studios in North Hollywood, California. In an interview with StonerRock.com, frontman Dickie Peterson explained that "Some songs I wrote have taken 20 years to really complete. And there are other songs like 'Doctor Please' or 'Out of Focus' that I wrote in ten minutes." On "Doctor Please" in particular, Peterson explained that "when I wrote the song (in 1967), it was a glorification of drugs. I was going through a lot of 'Should I take this drug or should I not take this drug? Blah, blah, blah.' There was a lot of soul searching at the time when I wrote that song, and I actually decided to take it. That’s what that song was about and that’s what I sang it about, sort of a drug anthem for me." On the band's cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues", Peterson noted that "We kept changing it around and adding/taking bits away. It also has to do with large doses of LSD."
Blue Cheer's debut album has widely been held in high regard by critics. Writing for music website AllMusic, Mark Deming described Vincebus Eruptum as "a glorious celebration of rock & roll primitivism run through enough Marshall amps to deafen an army", praising the band's "sound and fury" as one of the founding movements of heavy metal.Pitchfork reviewer Alexander Linhardt gave the album nine out of a maximum ten points, noting that the album was less structured than its successor, Outsideinside. It has also been described by Billboard as "the epitome of psychedelic rock".
Online music service Rhapsody included Vincebus Eruptum in its list of the "10 Essential Proto-Metal Albums", suggesting that the band "not only inspired the term 'power trio,' they practically invented heavy metal."