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In Virtue: Delusions of Grandeur

In Virtue are a power metal band hailing from northern California having formed in 2004. Their debut EP Delusions of Grandeur was released in 2009. The band consists of Trey Xavier (lead guitar, vocals), Greg Horton (guitar), Ms. C. (lead vocals), Eli Vogt (drums) and Chach Schindler (bass).

The music presented on Delusions of Grandeur is clearly in the power metal vein touching on neo classical, beauty and beast style symphonic metal and heavy metal. The band has a good lead vocalist in Ms. C. who has a slight operatic style although much less pronounced than some of the female fronted European bands. Xavier contrasts the feminine vocals with plenty of grunts and raspy style singing. I found it unusual for an American band to use this style as it is so often reserved for Scandinavian bands. Although keyboards are not listed on the promo material, there are many orchestral moments scattered throughout the disc which gives some of these songs the full symphonic treatment.

The CD starts with two versions of "Paralyzed", a nice slice of melodic power metal with some pretty good riffs. In "Fatal Eclipse", neo classical riffage and power metal chords combined with Xavier's grunts and Ms. C.'s angelic vocals makes for a fine listen. On "Dreamwalker" the band mixes acoustic guitar, heavy riffs and orchestral elements reminding me of Nightwish. The vocals of Ms. C. are probably her best so far. More neo-classical and heavy metal riffs mix it up in the heavy "Foresworn". Lots of grunting vocals and jackhammer drumming add to the heaviness.

The album ends with "Underture", the album's longest song and most experimental starting with Sabbath-like riffs before segueing into heavily orchestrated keys and a Celtic sounding bit of mellow acoustic guitar and flute sounds. Although I give the band credit for this ambitious undertaking the song sounds disjointed as some of the transitions do not flow smoothly.

As far as production quality is concerned it is pretty good, however, in some songs the volume level seemed to vary, causing some distraction while listening.

That being said, In Virtue definitely shows potential with Delusions of Grandeur and there is enough here to peak my interest. The band plans to release their first full length album in 2010.

Track Listing:
1. Paralyzed (radio edit)
2. Paralyzed (full)
3. Fatal Eclipse
4. Dreamwalker
5. Foresworn
6. Heather
7. Masochists & the Pursuit of Perfection
8. Underture

Added: February 13th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1763
Language: english

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