Vile Regression – Empires (Self Released)Monday, 23rd June 2014
One part technical melodic death and one part Lamb of God, Vile Regression aren’t much of a regression so much as being at the forefront of newer influences. The Irish laddies previously released a full-length album back in 2011 (The Pattern Evolves), and Empires serves more as an EP, with five songs and two short, mellow instrumentals.
Much of the meat & potatoes riffing of Empires brings things back to the already mentioned mash up of melodic death metal and metalcore. Operating mostly in the mid-tempo and faster range, the riffs have a sometimes thrashy, sometimes technical approach that keeps things moving forward. The streamlined approach does insure that there is something to get the neck muscles moving in each song. Whether it’s the slowed groove of “The Abstract” or the opening fury of “Tides,” Vile Regression does have a talent for finding catchy riffs throughout.
The downside to Empires is that regardless of the catchy riffs, it’s simply too similar to many other bands at the moment. From the very Randy Blythe vocals to the somewhat clean guitar tone, it feels very modern, and unfortunately very familiar. Sure, the riffs definitely get the job done but with a song like “Raze The Complexity,” it’s hard not to think that Lamb of God is playing, especially at the beginning of the song. There’s a line between honoring one’s influences and plagiarizing them, and parts of Empires makes it hard to figure out what side of the fence Vile Regression is playing on.
With Vile Regression still in the beginning stages of their career, they could be onto something if they could establish a more personalized identity. They have the gift of riff-writing, it’s just time to start fleshing it out in a more varied and unique direction.