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Review: Vilis – Self Titled

Vilis

 

It’s not often that a band can pull from major acts and successfully incorporate them into a single album, while still managing to find a unique sound that defines said band. Breaking out in January 2015, Vilis accomplishes the previously aforementioned, with vigor and style. You’ll definitely hear influences from bands such as Sworn In, Barrier, Darke Complex and other popular hardcore bands, but don’t write them off as a Sworn In clone, they’re heavy, dark, and they know what they’re doing.

The first track off Vilis is called “Untitled.” Its dark, brooding, and starts off with what can only be assumed to be the cries of the damned (which would make sense as the concept for the EP “comes from the T.V. show Supernatural, covering the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse coming to Earth to end humanity”). Wasting no time, a distorted voice spews inaudible words as a wide bass synth and a deliberate kick/snare join. A violin-like synth finalizes the mix and with that, Vilis begins.

Pestilence || Pestilentia, the second track on the EP, gets things started with basic but effective hardcore rifts and dual vocals. Travis Clymens and Jayvon Green render very mosh-able guitar rifts and blasts that keep the EP ferocious, ruthless and at times, absolutely demented. The pace changes seamlessly from a head banging throb to a flurry of fast, angry blasts, then it changes again to a tension building, face kicking, doom bringing, stomping speed. The bass (Ryan Wyant) keeps up excellently, switching tastefully from following the guitars to drums and back again, bringing with it, a gritty and chug-filled nastiness.

Speaking of drums, they’re great. Brenham Purves has done a fantastic job of keeping the drums complex to a point but still attainable. Influenced by artists such as Blake Richardson and rapper Ritz, the band had said that “He always thinks outside the box… and brings a whole new perspective to the other instrumentals”. Purves is always going the extra-mile, and it adds an interesting layer of brutality and fierceness to Vilis.

Drawing from talents such as Tyler Dennen and Adam Warren, Brandon West and Jesus Rivera bring a unique style and sound to the hardcore accompaniment (one of my favorite moments highlighting the two vocalists is on “War || Fruit” from 2:30 to the end).  Maddening screams, yells and growls give Vilis a distinct angry and insane feeling to it. Even when the EP draws towards a more metalcore sound, West and Rivera pull it back into the slightly uncomfortable, winding and spiraling hardcore sound.

Overall, Vilis is an above average album by a talented band with great ideas. While the EP may initially sound similar to other acts in the genre, its unique in it’s execution and the band has a few tricks up it’s sleeve that are bound to surprise you. Personally, I found the EP to be memorable and definitely one I’ll have on my MP3 player for those days I need to blow off some steam, or just go a little crazy. Lastly, I recommend the EP as I prefer Vilis to other albums in it’s genre and I’m excited to see what Vilis comes out with in the future.

 6.5/10

Vilis’s Facebook is linked here

Vilis’s Bandcamp is linked here

 

A note about album ratings: All ratings are based on a 1-10 scale, wherein a 5/10 is average and 10/10 is an album I believe to be revolutionary or genre changing  (so as you can image, a 10/10 is very rare). I try to be as fair as objective as possible with the ratings, so a band in my least favorite genre isn’t rated any differently than a band in my favorite genre. The rating scale is unrelated to the US school grading system where a 7/10 is average as that’s just stupid and doesn’t make any sense.

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