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Virtue of Lions – Blood In The Water (EP review)

NJ own metallic hardcore act Virtue of Lions has recently released its new material in the form of “Blood In The Water” EP, available from Bandcamp, and just because, we’ll have a look…OK, a listen.

Guys previously put out two songs, also on Bandcamp, namely “Dead Weight” and “Circling The Drain” and I have to say I had to rewrite the original review. Yep, I’ve said it.

Why, you ask? Well, this really illustrates the point of the mood when listening to the music, especially stuff like hardcore, metal and such. I wasn’t in the best mood lately (and still I am not myself 100 per cent), and somehow I didn’t like the first one, the “Dead Weight”, but I couldn’t put the finger as to the cause. Because, you know, the song is actually interesting. It’s not something you would call an easy listening, not at all, and I guess that’s why it requires some fitting state of mind.

And so here I am, re-listening to the stuff for one more time. And “Dead Weight” sounds fucking fantastic.

“Circling The Drain” is very similar, full of stops, changes of tempo and I can’t really decide if I like it or not, haha. Nah, I like it. Just don’t change the tempo too often. But as a whole, as expected, the music has the right attitude and the vokills are top notch. And 4:05 flies like hell! Yeah, I am not really someone you would call a metalcore fan, but yeah, I can live with stuff like that.

OK, so we know what the band has released before, so, what about the latest offering? “Blood In The Water” contains 5 tracks.

First, “Blood In The Water” is actually an intro, and in almost 2 minutes you will know precisely what to expect.

Going straight into the track number 23, “Deceptions Reflections”, a 3:39 long song, it’s little different from the two songs I’ve discussed above, as it’s more straightforward, which, on one hand, I welcome, as it’s easier to concentrate on the song as a whole, on the other hand, though – and I will might be seen as contradicting myself – it’s not as varied as, say, “Dead Weight”. And this crying, lamenting guitar sound now becomes quite a signature of the band.

Number 3! That’s “Nothing Left..” and now we’re in the Virtue of Lions’ territory. Similar to “Circling The Drain” in tempo, the variability this song contains is commendable, but where the fuck they come with some of those riffs? Now, the oxymoron, guys – it sound fucking terrible, but at the same time it’s fucking terrific! Go figure! Now, before guys come to kick my teeth in, the riff, or the melody I am referring to, is the portion of the song with the riff one quite certainly wouldn’t expect. And that’s what makes this song interesting. You know, boldly go where no one goes before…or something like that.

“Get Out” is the track number 4 and again, we’re swimming in more conventional metalcore, and I am not even mad! I just wish the track would continue in the way it begins for the whole length, but nope! Still, it’s pretty straightforward kicking stuff, and those gentlemen try hard not to put you to sleep by incorporating enough sound elements for your pleasure.

And the last one, folks, is “With My Last Breath” and I have to say, I wouldn’t be against not overusing that earaching guitar solo-like sound. The music sounds great even without it… but I’m not gonna blast anyone for their music preference, let’s the music play!! It’s more in the way of the very first song “Dead Weight”, so if your taste in metalcore (or metallic hardcore) asks for more varied approach, Virtue of Lions should be on your radar right now.

And if you want to create your own opinion, you have a chance:

https://virtueoflions.bandcamp.com/album/blood-in-the-water

Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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