Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vis Vires ~ Inside The Hate

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: heavy metal, progressive, alt rock
Label: self-released
Year: 2005
Home: Atlanta, Georgia (disbanded)

Members: Alexi Aleister ~ vocals/guitar
Lee ~ bass/b. vocals
Willy Bolander ~ guitar/b. vocals
Chad Gilbert ~ drums


There's a mix of bands in VV strung together with power guitar arpeggios against aggressive double bass drumming plus an array of quirky vocals common to current alt rock bands in an age where quirkiness is becoming the vocal norm. It's almost as if a couple puzzles were dropped & now the differing pieces are being pushed together to create a new, albeit strange, puzzle. A single song will go from fast to slow which each part colliding into each other, or maybe veering away, so it's hard to say which instrument is pushing the music forward. Sometimes it feels like there's a couple songs smashed together clumsily, as when the drums are fast while the guitars are slow ... & then there's the everything but metal lyrics. There's a bit of Deathstars-esque gothic darkness in the lyrics & backing vocals, some New Wave style in the lead vocals that would be quite comfortable in the eary 80's, a bit of wannabe Berkeley guitar & a bit of punk shouting. But, yet, it's more than just a conglomeration. There's actually quite a personality coming through. It's some of the most personality I've heard in an alt rock-ish release in awhile. It's most obvious in the vocals, which pull from a heritage that could be linked to the Cardiacs or a less moody HIM, that are given a boost with an array of contrasting backing vocals including growling & shouting. Though I usually find self-press to be too glamorous, which its of course supposed to be, I can't help but find VV's description of themselves interesting: "Fast-paced hatred & grief turned beautiful metal with expressive singing, devilish screaming, & solos that slay dragons." I'm not too sure about the dragon slaying, but the rest of it is certainly on target. Expressive singing & lots of grief tucked within the mix are definite. Though, it's not as heavy musically as I was prone to expect, even when the drums are going full blast or the guitar blazing away. There's too much contrast within a song to let it ever go too heavy as there's not enough time before some new sound comes along. I don't want to say that's a schizophrenic feeling to the music, but there is a chaotic appeal as VV doesn't let you rest long with repetition. It's almost a bit too much at times & could at times do with a break from the high speed stir setting. Inside The Hate is the only release by VV. A second release was begun but never completed before their break-up. It's ashame, as there's lots of great ideas at work here.



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