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Good, but forgettable - 75%

DomDomMCMG, November 16th, 2011

Viatrophy are a melodic deathcore band from the UK. If melodic deathcore sounds unappealing to you, go away now. This won't interest you in the slightest. If you're still reading, excellent. This band seem to be as fed up with the legions of unoriginal deathcore bands plaguing the metal scene as myself, and have aimed to make an interesting and original album. While I cannot deny that they succeeded, I have to say they could've aimed for some memorability.

The band have a solid sense of variety within their music. One can hear influences ranging from The Black Dahlia Murder with the melodic riffs, to ambient sections similar to that of Nile and perhaps even some mathcore influence in there.

The album begins with an intro, which is the norm for deathcore, but for once it isn't a throwaway. It's chilled and quite ambient, and it leads into the opener Mistress of Misery perfectly. The guitarists know how to play solid technical and melodic riffs and effortlessly change into chugging deathcore rhythms. Naturally, being deathcore, the band have used breakdowns, but they are placed very tastefully within the structure. No mindless chugs for the fun of it.

The vocalist uses the typical deathcore vocal formula. Switching between harsh screams and death growls, but he is unique, and doesn't sound like any other deathcore vocalist i've heard so far. His lyrics are quite abstract, almost Converge-esque, and quite pronounced. His unique styles only add to the originality of this release within a stale genre.

One track, Scenes of Extended Peril, gets a paragraph all to itself, due to how wonderful a song it is. Beginning with solid riffs and decent drumwork, the song keeps going at a good steady pace before going into a heavy breakdown, before finally ended with a wonderful ambient part which acts an outro of sorts. This song is truly one of the best in not just deathcore, but possibly metal in general.

This is definitely one of the better deathcore releases, but apart from Scenes of Extended Peril, nothing really stands out. A solid attempt, definitely, but I can't help but feel the band could've made their songs a bit more memorable.

Viatrophy - Viatrophy - 95%

padshiyangel01, June 14th, 2011

Bands breaking stereotypes are usually a firm favorite, and English melodic deathcore Viatrophy continue this trend in their self-titled debut. Taking the melody of The Black Dahlia Murder’s Deflorate and mixing it with the technical brutality of The Eyes Of A Traitor, then throwing in post-metal feel à la Cult Of Luna, the end result impresses on first and subsequent listens. It may even turn the heads of elitists who usually shun the “-core” label, due to its solid musicianship and slightly atypical vocals.

A mellow and ambient post-rock intro is abruptly obliterated by the outburst of “Mistress Of Misery”, a summary of the band’s style in its range between headbanging deathcore and melodic noodling. The guitars of John Jones and Gurneet Ahluwalia switch from technical and melodic riffs to chugging rhythm with ease, and Reynolds adds a tasteful element in his drumming style, which is minimalist and yet still has room for plenty of fills. The production lends credibility and maturity to the band, although it doesn’t save bassist Gavin Thane given he follows the rhythm guitar most of the time. Even the breakdowns are interesting, a usual stigma of the deathcore genre.

The band also include a fair amount of variety in the album, from the less melodic like “Scenes Of Extended Peril” to the melodic lead intro of “Sufferance”. They even throw a curveball in the penultimate track of a 7-minute Post-Metal song, which unfortunately swallows the last track due to the difference in styles. My favorite track, “Futile Prayers” showcases the band’s ability to turn a heavy-yet-melodic opening section into calming Post-Rock and back again without losing flow.

Adam Mayes, taking influence from Trevor Strnad, adds his own twist to the vocals. From brutal lows to scorching highs such as in “Sea Of Storms”, he has the knack of knowing when to use which style to best effect. The lyrics are poetic, if a little abstract, and suited well to his voice; “Self-indulgence makes my flesh turn grey/The beauty within blackened to a darker core/The selfless act brings me into the light/A shell of purity masks the internal decay”. Perhaps his most surprising feature is used in “Scenes Of Extended Peril” and “The Final Light”, which is a Cult Of Luna-esque scream suited to the Post-Metal aspects that are mixed in. The gang vocals used on “The Ethereal Darkness” strangely add to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it, providing an opportunity for a crowd shout-along of “cut the cord/I’ll chase this light”.

Obviously, those who dislike the genre will be skeptical, but the album is easily accessible for both sides of the Death Metal/Hardcore fence. For a debut album, this is jaw-dropping, and it is truly a shame that the band have been split up until recently, though they are due to play Ghostfest this year. Get Viatrophy, as the last dying gasp of a band trying to save the Deathcore genre.

Originally posted at www.deathmetalbaboon.com

A 42 Melody bomb! - 88%

Crimson_Red_Suicide, April 14th, 2010

I got this album for 10 dollars in a CD sale at a local shop out of curiosity, and to my surprise it kicks ass. The first song is an intro but it sets you up for the album to come because when the acoustic guitar stops, straight away, Gurneet Ahluwalia’s guitar kicks you in the face and Craig Reynolds’ drums blast your ears off. The production is good, clean and crisp, but could’ve had a few touch ups.

There is only one guitar being played on this album, it doesn’t make much of a difference than having one instead of two or three, because it is loud, fast and very well played. Unfortunately the album has got the breakdown plague, which is very annoying and there isn’t any guitar solos, but there is some very well played tapping, for example in songs like “Seas Of Storms” he plays melodically, very fast and extremely well during the breakdown.

The bassist (Gavin Thane) may as well not of played, because you cannot hear him at all! This gets on my tits, because it makes the band even more generic sounding and makes the band less likely to stand out than other deathcore albums. The album is not tinny and is full of bass, but he doesn’t play differently to the guitars, making it very hard to hear anything he does.

The drums are played by Craig Reynolds, and on tracks like “Futile Prayers” and “Sufferance” you know he is very talented. I enjoyed listening to this album because of three things; it’s melodic, it’s fast and the drums are brilliant, not one time does he play horribly, or differently. He is definitely going to have a great career in the music industry, because he is extremely talented, and knows his stuff.

Adam Mayes is the vocalist. He is very good, talented, and most of all not a shitty sounding asshole that likes to scream in every breakdown. He knows exactly where to growl, where to scream, and he doesn’t sound like a vocal roller-coaster that goes up and down like some deathcore artists like to do. He isn’t exactly different, but he has potential.

This band is very good, but sadly they have broken up. This album could’ve really taken off if they had changed a few things and made it less generic. I recommend this album for anybody looking for something melodic and fast, but also a bit different from most deathcore albums.