posted on 10/2011 By:
Vile’s latest album doesn’t live up to the band’s namesake by any means, but it doesn’t deliver upon the album title, either. Instead, Metamorphosis is a decently done but altogether generic death metal album that leaves something to be desired. The riffs are brutal but somewhat boring; the drums are blazing fast but buried in the mix; and the vocals are powerful but occasionally lack passion. “The Revealing” shows Vile trying their hand at dynamics, with a slightly awkward guitar solo section punctuated by random chugs before hastily returning to typical death metal fare. I commend the group for evolving a bit from Bay Area death-grind to a more European death metal sound, but there’s work to be done yet.
Maybe I’m coming off harsh: There is nothing truly awful about this album, but my expectations were fairly high, considering Vile hasn’t released an album since 2005, and each member of the band clearly has the chops required to make a record that completely slays. Their last release, The New Age of Chaos, was relentlessly heavy without becoming repetitive, and former vocalist Juan Urteaga offered up fantastic performances. He left some sizable shoes to fill, but Mike Hrubovcak
tries his best. His growl is strong and subterranean, but varies very little throughout Metamorphosis. I realize diction has never been a huge priority of the genre, but there are portions of the vocals that are utterly indistinguishable as lyrics. The lack of vocal variety punctuates the overall prosaic tone set by the compositions.
Colin Davis has arguably written much better material in the past, and while there are excellent moments on the album (especially on the aptly titled “Redemption”), they are few and far between. When all’s said and done, Metamorphosis gets the job done, but it scrapes by on death metal mainstays and the fact that the album will probably translate a hell of a lot better in a live setting. Vile has all of the resources necessary to create a killer album -- they just need to break free of technically proficient yet lackluster songwriting. Maybe then they’ll truly experience a career-changing metamorphosis. Until then, throw on this album if you want to rage without waking the neighbors.
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