posted on 3/2008 By:
A short and sweet three-song release from this Danish band, Recurrence has a technical metalcore vibe that, while somewhat deficient in originality, has an undeniable energy and professionalism to it that’s difficult not to enjoy. Despite my use of the dreaded ‘m’ word, Vira aren’t about Swedish riffs and half-steps, rather they indulge in off-kilter rhythms and a decidedly mid-nineties American thrash influence. These guys certainly play faster than the average metalcore hack and this is a real plus. The three tracks on this EP - "Midnight Poison", "Escape" and "Half Awake" - are all well-written, tightly played and nicely produced, but the lack of diversity amongst them doesn’t bode well for a full-length, and one would hope Vira added a few more strings to their bow between now and then.
In terms of song structure, the tracks on Recurrence are a bit choppy, with frequent shifts in tempo and tone which are at times a bit jarring. That’s not to say that some of these individual parts aren’t enjoyable though. The chugging, off-time grooves of "Midnight Poison" may have been perfected by Meshuggah years ago but are certainly preferable to any simplistic, ham-fisted mosh parts. The speedy breaks are impressively energetic and intense, and there’s even a Will Haven influence in the droning riffs of slower sections. "Escape" sees the introduction of dissonant post-hardcore riffs seeping into the metal ala Poison the Well, but the best track is definitely the closing "Half Awake". While beginning in very similar fashion to the first two songs, this one is broken up by a clean prog-rock guitar interlude, followed by a genuine solo. It’s a shame these sounds come in so late, but they are welcome nonetheless.
While I couldn’t honestly rate Vira on the basis of originality, it’s not a trait I value too highly. Fans of ferocious metal should enjoy this release, and in all honesty there’s more ‘math’ and modern thrash to this band than there is ‘core’, so take that how you will. The vocals, drumming and production are all standout qualities on Recurrence, and the fact that it’s so brief makes it an easy listen. Lack of variation is Vira’s main weakness at this point, but given the band’s already highly accomplished musicianship, this should be the next logical area to improve upon with their next release.
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