Review by Paul Castles
Release date: July 21 2014
As monikers go, Vile Regression is a suitably confrontational one and it certainly fits the brash and belligerent outpourings captured in their new self-released EP, Empires. The Irish metal scene appears, from this vantage point at least, to be fairly healthy at present and Vile Regression are contributing more than their bit towards the teeth baring of the celtic tiger.
Vile Regression came together around four years ago consisting at least in some part of members of the disbanded Irish extreme act Visitor Q. Debut release The Pattern Evolves attracted sufficient interest to see them sharing a stage with such lusty luminaries as Dyscarnate, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Unearth. While that release was a politically astute recording taking on Big Brother and the Government, Empires is more emotive with the lyrical emphasis on developing your own character and making your own empire in life – hence the title.
Two of the seven tracks on Empires are short instrumental interludes, brief gasps of air above the murky majority of tanker heavy slams, ferocious guitar solos, blister inducing drums and a toxic vocal bark from a fella with the suitable surname of Croke. At around 23 minutes long, this is best filed under the ‘EP’ rather than ‘album’ category but it’s still quite rightly getting its own launch night at the band’s regular haunt, Fibber Magee’s, in Dublin later this month.
Vile Regression display a neat technical twist that prevents the smash and grab approach from ever getting stale or dull.Opening number ‘Tides’ is a firecracker that ignites almost before the torchpaper has even been lit. With some savage guitar swirls circling above, the core of the song is an angrier than a wasp and carries more bite than a certain Uruguayan footballer. I would say if the five members of Vile Regression had to jot down their three favourite bands most would include Lamb of God in their triumvirate. Certainly songs like ‘Raze the Complexity’ have the DNA of Randy and the Virginia veterans buried deep within, both in vocal style from Padraig Croke and the overall dynamics of the song structure.
After the first instrumental interlude the metalcore mayhem returns with ‘Thought Replication’ which once again features a punch the air chorus that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser live. The jolting delivery of ‘The Abstract’ has definite Gojira threads with its stuttering destructive bludgeoning playing mindgames with your senses.The acoustic mellow moments of ‘Down to a Sunless Sea’ leads into the furious final number ‘The Empyrean Divide’, another demonstrative blast in which Vile Regression throw down more moody melodic moments, encased in a granite coat. The curve is heading in an upward direction for the Dublin demons.
7 out of 10
- Raze the Complexity
- Dream of the Red Chamber
- Thought Replication
- The Abstract
- Down to a Sunless Sea
- The Empyrean Divide