Review Summary: A deathcore band with an actual sense of melody. Unfortunately, they don't have much more to offer other than the fact that they aren't tone deaf "bros" obsessed with moshing.
Imagine for a second, the feeling of being lifted into the air by some sort of supernatural force. You float through the skies completely unaware of anything going on around you, simply enjoying the calm. However, right as you reach the peak of your adventure, a hand reaches out and throws you into a billboard. This is what the first few minutes of Viatrophy's self titled debut album are like.
UK based deathcore band Viatrophy
has managed to do what few groups in a genre saturated with overproduced and uninspired music can do; put out an album that while not incredibly enjoyable, does manage to sound better than most metalcore. Now, you might come back with a comment along the lines of "But Mouth! Mouth! Mouth!, what about those bands like Emmure and the like, who have a target audience of douchebags and scenesters!? Are you saying that their target audience doesn't find their music better than most?"
But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that this is the kind of album that corefags, metalheads, scenesters, and bros can all enjoy together. Although it's probably best for them to enjoy Viatrophy 'together' in separate rooms, the point remains that most of them will enjoy it.
Following the spacey intro and vaguely All Shall Perish inspired second track, Viatrophy
slows down and shows off the repetition that unfortunately makes its way into more than a few tracks. Seas of Storms
although being one of the better tracks on the album, starts the repetitive pattern off, seeming to have a small number of sections that every member, save the vocalist, rotates through. A typical chugga-chugga intro/breakdown, the exact same section sped up slightly, and a different breakdown are recycled up until the 2 minute mark, where a ballad-eqsue instrumental begins. A breath of fresh air? For a while, yes. Unfortunately, the band makes it entirely clear that they're only comfortable with repeating the same few chords and beats for the rest of this section while vocalist Adam Mayes shrieks a few indecipherable lines before the second half of the song, which is nothing more than some fretboard wankery and about a minute of buildup before fading out. The remainder of this album plays out like a typical metalcore album with some filler thrown in to make it longer than 20 minutes. The filler seems to have been thought out pretty quickly here, as it's fairly sleep inducing. After the 2 minutes long instrumental, Aurora
(which feels like it drags on forever), the album picks back up. Scenes of Extended Peril
, and Futile Prayer
showcase faster songs, heavier music, a more varied vocal range, and breakdowns that avoid feeling like 2mile-per-hour punch-a-longs are present throughout. Right when you get pumped back up and rid of the grogginess handed to you with Aurora
however, The Final Light
opens the door, clocks in, and says "Hey! You look like you could use some more filler!" The actual song being played here is broken up into various sections of this 7 minute long track, with about 30 seconds of calm instrumental between each one. It makes Aurora look like a walk in the park.
is better than most attempts at metalcore, but it falls short of being great more often than it should. It's worth a listen, but it will be a s truggle to avoid spacing out in certain sections. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, these guys have talent and lots of potential, they just need to reconsider how to handle the hardcore influences in their sound if they want to avoid becoming just another failed attempt at something great.