ALBUM REVIEW: For the Fallen – Vice
Mental toughness is something people need a lot of lately. From political news and financial crises to daily personal trials, even the past few months have been difficult to say the least. How to rise above? By developing the strength of mind to do so. Sounds easier said than done, doesn’t it? Many would say yes, but with their new record For the fallen, VICE seek to articulate what we cannot put into words.
The Mancunian trio follows the years 2017 The first chapter with eight tracks of pure British metal. Those who think eight tracks are a bit light for a metal album can rejoice that it comes with a 41-minute runtime. British heavy metal comes with the stereotype of whiny vocals, eon-long solos and a whole heap of fantasy worlds. We’ll cover each of these as the album unfolds, but opening Strive comes with a more melodious cargo than we generally expected. Each central element of the group presents itself in the intro and slowly leads us into the world of VICEcreation. guitars full of Tom Atkinson giving earthy riffs dripping on the foundation of Connor Summers‘ crashing drums. After a somewhat long introduction, AtkinsonThe voice comes to the fore and instantly changes perceptions. The gritty delivery, paired with Lord Aidengruff grunts from (bass), is a refreshing listen as we’re commanded”let go of your demons”.
Renouncing all sense of showboating, VICE build a strong opening track with Strive. The repetition of the basic instrumentals switching between verse and chorus creates a wonderful auditory symmetry. As Strive further on, we are entitled to a refreshing and discreet solo. The composition of these instrumentals is sublime because a second guitar track is added, delivering a metallic breath under the second iteration of Atkinson‘s freight work. This composition bears To go up. Although it is six minutes long, it is a composer’s dream. VICE are clearly a band that pride themselves on their instrumentals and for good reason, although the wheels wobble a bit like AtkinsonThe slightly too high-pitched voice disturbs the basket of apples. A clear and melodic chorus requires momentum to get on all fours and unfortunately this is not the only example. The rhythm resumes for the second verse but the constant passage between the two speeds leaves us not knowing if we are going or not.
Something that stands out very quickly is the length of some of these instrumental sections. As mentioned, VICEThe musicality of is impressive and will be the subject of further reflection. However, these sound movements are made in places to the detriment of the catalog. To go upthe marvelous chug seated over bubbling basslines sees one of many solos from Atkinson hover over the plains. Although it is delicious, there is a bit too much. The dark crackle that comes with vultures is another example of an instrumental that could have been shortened with some finesse. The frenetic energy of the now predictable interlude sounds like a wake of vultures descending to dine on death. A hum from the bass line further adds to the bone-grinding imagery. With all that in mind, it just loses us after a while.
As in any medium, For the fallen is a creature of its time. This record took on a lot of negativity through osmosis. exist and remain capture this in the single line “the illusion is lost”. Now, through the looking glass, the elements of the spinning guitars expose the world for what it can be: exhausting and exhausting. The feeling of an empty resolution is reflected in the song’s constantly slowing momentum, but it’s a mechanism that isn’t necessary. The strength of the lyrical story can express this in itself, while talking about “fighting for peace you know you won’t findfollowed by a serene interlude objects. Had this section been removed, the song would only have benefited. This lack of marriage between lyrics and instrumentals is taken up in Failure. The verses harbor carnage in every direction, but the clean melodic backing vocals again slow the momentum way too much. The oppression and shame that come with this failure are lost in the ether.
Taking a large amount of negativity on board can only breed more discouragement within ourselves. VICE take it into account with Break the cycle and Left over. The former surrounds the idea of our own mental state trapping us in a vicious circle of misery while the latter seeks to break out of our shell-like prison. Sanity and the images it conjures up is a huge opportunity for a band to stretch their lyrical legs. With Break the cycle however, that chance is simply not taken. Stories of self-medication and the “depressive cycle that goes around in circlesmay well convey the monotony of depression, but the lack of symbolism from a band that prides itself on it is frustrating. The spiraling riffs of Atkinson drag us further into the dirge of our own minds, leaving room for other missed opportunities.
VICE deliver a good but frustrating record. The stereotypical composition becomes predictable after a handful of songs. Although we hoped to enjoy the record more than we did, we are a little disappointed. after the promise The first chapter, VICE had set themselves up to improve on what they had created. In a way, that’s exactly what they did. Their compositional skills cannot be denied despite the shortcomings of some of the stories they told. The trio are great musicians which again is undeniable and they should be commended for that. Maybe over time VICE will tip the balance from good to excellent. As for now, For the fallen is a decent listen but not a must listen.
For The Fallen is available now via self-publish.
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