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Starkill: Virus of the Mind

Ever wonder what a midnight jam between Children of Bodom, Dream Theater, Arch Enemy, and Symphony X might sound like? Well, grab a listen to Virus of the Mind, the sophomore release on Century Media from upstarts Starkill and you just might find out. This is highly precise, expertly produced, chops heavy yet melodic technical death metal/power metal/progressive metal that demands your attention from the first note all the way to the last. The band consists of Parker Jameson (lead guitar, vocals, keyboards), Spencer Weidner (drums), Tony Keathley (guitar, backing vocals), and Shaun Andruchuk (bass guitar), and while the whole band come across quite impressively, it's Jameson with his uncanny shredding and Weidner's acrobatic drumming that really steal the show. "Winter Desolation" contains some mind bending solos within a complex extreme metal framework, while Weidner's uncanny stick work will have your jaw on the floor throughout the prog/death track "Breaking the Madness". The title cut is a pulverizing example of epic death metal, and the well placed keyboards on the crushing "Skyward" adds a nice power/prog metal touch. One of my favorites is the melancholy "Before Hope Fades", as heavy, melodic riffs and huge orchestral swells complement battling death metal growls and gorgeous clean vocals. In fact, the melodic vocals are used very effectively in spots throughout the album, but not overused, as Jameson's growls are still the main vehicle. "God of this World" has many cinematic, symphonic passages amid the brutal technical death metal arrangements, reminding somewhat of Fleshgod Apocalypse, and the groove laden yet crunchy "My Catharsis" is like a head on collision between Arch Enemy and Symphony X, complete with some scorching lead guitar work from Jameson.

It's complex, it's brutal, it's melodic, it's epic...Virus of the Mind is also a hell of a lot of fun. Perhaps too much sheen and too far into power/prog metal for serious, old school death metal fans, this latest from Starkill is sure to appeal to anyone who appreciates a crossing of genres topped with over the top musicianship. Well done.

Track Listing
1. Be Dead Or Die
2. Winter Desolation
3. Breaking The Madness
4. Virus Of The Mind
5. Skyward
6. Before Hope Fades
7. Into Destiny
8. God Of This World
9. My Catharsis
10. Convergence

Added: October 26th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1980
Language: english

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