Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sometimes album reviewing is very tricky business and more to the point it’s difficult to not make The Black Flux article into a full blown press release. It really is that good. And whilst perfection is an unattainable score, Virus without a doubt, have
never been closer to it.

Beautifully discordant, dark, sombre, and majestic often at the same time encapsulates The Black Flux. The music itself is challenging because of the intense atmosphere made by the above. You’ll not hear blistering technicalities on the instruments (nor do you need to) but the steep learning curve many will have to undertake to fully understand the project is a tall order. Placing The Black Flux into the progressive metal category may spark debate, but it’s definitely an accuracy whilst being loose (more so heavy metal, experimental and progressive metal in one pot). One of the bigger aspects present on the record is the vocal echoing Ian Curtis from Joy Division. It is certainly controversial when thrown in, and will conflict with most listeners assumptions on harmony (not to be mistaken as a discordant vocal, it’s just another surprise when layered on top of the other elements in the music). Saying that, it’s certainly suitable, that adds to their sound richly and beautifully; it’s near enough a defining touch. Finally, Virus aren’t scared to draw out a guitar riff or two, and this is a huge characteristic amongst the tracks.

A twisted and haunting masterpiece that should change many perspectives in the genre. Virus have not just made a progressive leap with The Black Flux, but metal itself.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 9:28 pm
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Saturday, 15 August 2009

Whilst the security of merchandising and record sales is often enough for any musician to show their hand in the industry, it too comes at a creative price tag, one that “One Without” simply can’t afford. “Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind” is a pop rock/metal effort. Placing it within the metal genre is only a given because of the heavier ‘chug’ guitars present. You’ll also find clean vocals, drums, and synth at the heart of the experience.

The music itself is firm, well written and well executed. Everything has been done in binary fashion (chorus, verse), that echoes themes from the later works of In Flames, Megadeth, and Evanescence. With it being radio, nightclub, youth club and hard rock café friendly, popularity to be gained and sustained is a mere certainty.

Such assurance is creatively expensive. “Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind” is very plain, and very, very stale. There’s nothing on the record that claims a ‘unique selling point’, it’s just an emulation of the acts previously stated. The album lapses into repetitive territory with each track guaranteed to contain a power chorus (or five), a key change and a melodramatic guitar solo.

“Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind”, is an accomplished record, setting out to do what it means to do; yet falls very short because of this. On one of your better days, this effort can sound as vibrant as an early Megadeth record. On a different day, as tedious as Madonna.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 7:35 pm
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