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Memories of a Dead Man: V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

First off, and especially in hindsight after listening, whoever wrote the press release for these guys needn't be raping hyperbole, namely when he states that a hardcore record demands your undivided attention because of how highly sophisticated and ambitious it is or that the ambient parts will take you to outer space. I love French culture, films, music, and all that, but this is not The Shape of Hardcore to Come, chill out.

That said, this is pretty good. Comparisons to The Ocean and Gojira are clear, implying a bit of post-metal peanut butter to their hardcore jelly. Thankfully they somewhat try to separate themselves, having pretty anthemic bits that one might not expect with harmonies layered under screams, like on the left-field opener "Tomorrow At Dawn..." or "Meshi'ha," but the real key to what makes this album work is the downtime. At almost an hour of forceful metal, and with many samey riffs, the cleaner bits and the bridges between songs are like glue, possibly sparkly glue, that form the silver, sparkly lining around the metal parts, most of which aren't super notable; a lot of it is quite typical when bunched together, but all of "Leave Scars," the chorus of "Under the Cross," and bits like that are outliers to this issue in the context of contrast.

"Under the Cross" and "Leave Scars" have heavy parts that work because they have contrast. "An Ode to Myself" works because of contrast. Their clean leads and harmonies and the more accessible chorus of "Leave Scars" and basically any time when the volume dynamic is modulated, they know exactly how to work those sections out. They can make a much more dynamic and powerful album overall if they can capitalize on that and use it more evenly through the album. "INRI" is a fantastic example; atmospheric guitars, overall clean sound even when distortion kicks in, lots of harmonies, builds minimalistically, could've worked without vocals (let the music speak), but basically the epitome of what they do well.

Definitely a good start, but they have lots of potential unfulfilled. Just a side note, I don't know if "Diving Bell and Butterfly" was a movie reference but it does not sound remotely as pretty or freeform as the film. That would be a cool concept to utilize though.


Track Listing
1. Tomorrow, At Dawn...
2. On The Heights of Despair
3. Under the Cross
4. Meshi'ha
5. Good Mourning Child
6. Insomniac Animal
7. An Ode to Myself
8. Trismegistus King
9. Leave Scars
10. Diving Bell and Butterfly
11. INRI

Added: May 23rd 2012
Reviewer: Danny Heater
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 365
Language: english

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