V:28
"VioLution"

(Vendlus Records 2007)V:28 - VioLution

If the scant biographical information included with this CD is to be believed, then V:28's "VioLution" is a work of "industrial death metal." Reading that little snippet you might expect to hear some amalgamation of Morbid Angel and KMFDM, most likely in German. But I call shenanigans on Vendlus Records' description of their band. Upon careful inspection (read: listening to the album a bunch of times) I have come to the scientific conclusion that "VioLution" is actually black metal.

Right from the get-go, we get an epic intro with drums worthy of the hordes of Mordor, and you know what that means. Sure enough, the intro gives way to "Exequor" and an ultrafast single string riff signature to black metal. "VioLution" could have easily been hammered out along the same basic template, and while there is speed picking abound, the album is refreshingly multifaceted. "Surrender to Oblivion" kicks off with a towering, plodding, doomy riff before lurching into sweet mid-paced chunk of a groove. "World Wide Bombing Day" sneaks in some slightly thrash triplets and angles, while "Can You See the Light Now?" is propelled by a precise lockstep march. The vocals are somewhere between Satan with 'roid rage and Satan getting lightly kicked in the sac, and "The Absolute" features a cool assist from Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg of former black metallers/current experimentalists Ulver.

So I hope the notion that this is death metal is sufficiently quashed for you, my friends. Oh, and the "industrial" tag comes from the mostly unobtrusive threads of electronics glinting in the background. There is the occasional industrial booming electronic drum song break or coda, but these are infrequent enough that they don't distract from what is a well-written and sharply executed album. "VioLution" is well-paced and varied enough so that it doesn't break down after one listen, and holds up as an interesting black metal album. Take that, Vendlus marketing department.

B+

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