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Will vs. ability - 57%

Felix 1666, July 7th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2012, CD, Art Gates Records

Thrash metal and Spain is not the most natural connection. This might be a reason why Vivid Remorse are no longer active. Maybe they have started careers as flamenco dancers instead? Okay, stereotypes aside: "Down to the Wire", their second and final full-length, shows a band that does not lack energy or enthusiasm. The dudes play their type of Bay Area thrash, enriched or diluted with some modern elements (no pioneer of the eighties would have written such noisy verses we are confronted with in "Involution"). As always, it's in the eye of beholder.

The first thing one realizes is the clear, transparent and powerful production. "Down to the Wire" cannot be blamed for a low degree of pressure. Fortunately, the band does not sit behind the barricades in fear of the enemy, it attacks wherever possible. The majority of the riffs supports the assault and the voice of the lead singer has an individual note. These are actually good prerequisites in order to start a thrashing party.

Nevertheless, this final work does not fully convince. The compositions suffer from heterogeneous structures - the single parts of the songs do not always go hand in hand. Furthermore, the band forgot to write one outstanding number. No earworm far and wide! There exists a video of "Imaginery Actress" and it can be no doubt that this short and pretty ferocious piece is among the better songs here, but it does not have ingenious features that predestine it for the lighthouse project of the full-length. In addition, the output belongs to these records whose compositional quality decrease slowly but steadily during their playtime. This is alarming, because less than 36 minutes is anything else but an opulent duration. Nevertheless, the last tracks are somewhat tiring or even annoying. I don't say that they are doubtlessly worse than their predecessors, but it gets more and more obvious that the dudes are not able to exceed a solid but not fascinating level - and that's a pity.

In hindsight, Vivid Remorse appear as a band that was infected by the thrash metal virus. In other words, they were willing to catapult themselves and their country on a more prominent position on the global scale of the sub genre. But to be willing does not mean to be able. Where are the unforgettable riffs? Who prevented the recording of a catchy chorus? Why did they forget to record some flattening guitars that reflect the musician's dedication? Nobody knows. So long story short, I am not overly sad due to the fact that the group has called it a day, but I also would lend an ear if they rise from the ashes and release a new work.