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Excellent Mix Of Qualities - 90%

Gorcrow, April 18th, 2006

The only reason this loses 10 points is because of the production. The guitars are a bit too high in the mix and the drums + vocals sound just a tad too distant.

Other than that, this disc is one hell of a trip.

Sort of in the same way that Sleep Terror delivers a death-jazz assault, Virulence delivers a vicious well-though-out approach to death-jazz combinations.

There are two prominent vocal styles:
-Hardcore vocals, done well, without an accent. It's just angry screaming. No singing, no bullshit word-contortioning or Boston accent bullshit, just plain angry screaming. The dude can sound pretty pissed at times.
-Guttural brutal-death style vocals. Pig grunts, basically.

That is quite an awesome combination. I would listen to hardcore if it weren't for the whiny pussy vocals and the weak half-assed melodies they incorporate passively into their songs. Not a very engaging genre, but that's besides the point. Virulence is better than that.

The drumming is a combination of jazz techniques that take their place very well in the compositions and death metal blasts that prove effective yet don't overpower the actual music. Kudos for the awesome fills.

Guitar work is mostly jazz-influenced, but in such a way that the music is still grind. Everything is memorable and well-composed so that the songs actually convey meaning and emotions. That is probably the best part of the music.

Bass is clearly audible and clearly impresses when it is heard. Very-well played, it is a part of the music and not just root notes.

Picture this album as something vaguely similar to The Painter's Palette by Ephel Duath, but remove the crappy singing and add in real emotions and a punch of agression similar to Sleep Terror.

Good stuff.