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Solid and then some - 87%

Etiam, January 3rd, 2006

Perhaps the most talked about brutal death metal album of the year, Vile’s ‘New Age of Chaos’ has been making waves not only for its musical content, but its statements. Odd, considering that most of their genre-mates usually have more to say about disemboweled fetuses and goat rectums than they do about politics. But, here we have an obvious political statement, complete with audio samples from press conferences regarding Saddam Hussein. Really, though, all that is irrelevant if the music can’t stand up. Whether you like politics in your music or not is also irrelevant, since most of the lyrics are indecipherable. Moving on.

I’ve liked Vile since I heard Depopulate. They expand well upon the New York style of metal pioneered by Immolation and others of their ilk—blending extreme technicality with understated technicality and a pinch of gore. Winning combination. That being said, Vile does not do anything new, but I honestly don’t think that they planned to. If you like brutal death, you’ll like this. If you don’t, this won’t change your mind.

So, for those of you who enjoy your steaks rare and bloody, I’ll continue. Vile live up to their name here, giving their audience a meaty slab of chops and razor grooves. Guitarist Colin Davis has a distinctive style that, while not revolutionizing metal, does set Vile apart a bit from some of their peers. He has a patient hand, giving his riffs and tasteful solos a bit of breathing room. His sound is nicely countered by the precise work of Tyson Jupin, who mans the drums. He has great command of his cymbal work, tapping the high-hat to counter double bass work, which is, pleasantly, not locked at full throttle. Juan Urteaga’s vocals are your standard style of death metal growling, but with enough variation to keep things interesting, whether it be an even lower second track for emphasis in a chorus or a higher pitched shriek just for kicks.

Simply put, Vile cover the board with ‘New Age of Chaos’. I hardly even thought of the production quality until I reached this point of the review, which is a plus. I have recently learned that Urteaga is no longer a part of the band, but as Origin showed us earlier this year, brutal death metal keeps its own, and can spawn new proficient and willing members when neeeded.

Hell, the record even has a melodic sitar solo track as an outro, which appears to be an ongoing theme tweaked a bit for this Middle East conscious effort.

Good enough for me.
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(Originally written for Maximummetal.com)