A Conflict Scenario

Virulence

Morbid Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/04/2001

Bands like Virulence drop my jaw. Here you get a band with all sorts of musical ideas that are crammed into the 26:49 on this CD. The band changes musical themes three times within a 30-second phrase such as from 1:30-2:00 in "Reptilian Triangle." Pick my jaw off the floor please. How do these musicians do that?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I don't have an answer to that except to quote my cubicle neighbor at work, Jon, who summarized the band with the statement, "They're doing this because they can."

Virulence can do anything. Imagine clean Al DiMeola guitar tone riffs toggling with Detachment death metal guitar riffs in the same song. Imagine the musical adventuresome tendencies of Dream Theater and Spiritual Architect toggling with the intensity of a band like Morbid Angel. You get all sorts of musical styles within the same song. And that can make for a challenging listen. With some bands, you can feel the "set up" for where the song is going, sometimes to the point where you can anticipate the changes in riffs or when the drummer will accent his cymbals. I think a lot of 80s metal bands had traits like this. Listening to Quiet Riot, for example, prepared me for listening to Ratt, Dokken, and even Van Halen. That's the anti-example.

Virulence is nothing like that. You cannot anticipate when the changes will come in a song, as there is no set up, no cue to let the listener know when something is going to change. The band is part of an exciting genre that cannot be classified. You have traces of death metal vocals, jazz guitar in parts, drumming that work hard to accompany the ever-changing landscape.

If you go out and buy this CD or listen to its musical vision, you will know what I am talking about. I've listened to this CD for weeks and I still haven't become familiar with the changes of these songs to anticipate the changes. Track five "Evolutionary Masquerade" is another prime example of a wild musical journey. The changes from the 1:54 mark to the 2:17 mark are nothing short of amazing.

Virulence is the type of band I can take in large doses. They are the type of band where 26:49 is not nearly long enough. These eight songs cover an amazing musical landscape.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2001 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Morbid Records, and is used for informational purposes only.