Monday, November 24, 2014

Catching Up With 2014: Ritual Mess' "Vile Art"

If spastic hard core that is still aware they are making songs is what you are looking for , then you have found it. This band features members of the who's who of underground hardcore and by that I mean Orchid, Panthers, Bucket Full of Teeth,Wolves, Ampere, No Faith, Laceration and Failures. You find you self on the fourth song before you know, and really become aware of this fact as they take a dramatic turn to the dark side for "the Last Shout". Even on songs that are so straightforward I normally wouldn't like it, they manage to weave some form of dark melody into the guitar. The vocals are par for the course screaming.

The guitar players are the stars of this show. The make the songs breathe. The drummer and the bass player work well together and get the job done, but these guys' sound lies in their guitar tone. You can here the influence of Converge in this sort of thing. They are the god fathers of this kind of metal hardcore crossover. At times the in your face more often than not bores me on "Emma". Even in these monochrome blurs there is a note worthy riff or two here and there. But in saying most of there songs sound the same, it means if I don't look up from what I'm doing the next thing I know it's on a new song, which I didn't notice because it sounds just like the song before. There are exceptions to this rule.

I like the darkness to "Blood Ritual Pact".  The vocals actually grab me here. They do have a convincing knack at the feral violence that seeps from the jagged edges of their sound. But how are they as song writers when you put them against Converge? You say that's not fair. I'm not saying put it against their current stuff, but their first two albums. After they are both bands comprised of musicians vying for you dollars. When taken in that light these are kids that sound really good at fooling around. The title track has all the traction and intensity you could ask for and still doesn't do much for me. Earlier they give you a taste of what they are capable of the problem lies in being able to do that consistently.

I think after reading people say it was going to be on their album of the year list my expectations were too high. This is better than average metallic hard core for sure. I'll round this up to a six for the moments that did grab me there just weren't enough of them to make me want this in my iPod. You can judge for yourself below.

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