Cardiff boys Virtue In Vain have been steadily gigging and establishing themselves as a name-to-watch on the progressive metalcore scene since their formation in 2012. Drawing influence from the likes of The Devil Wears Prada, Martyr Defiled and Whitechapel, they have now unleashed their first EP after a couple of tantalizing singles.
We are eased in smoothly with the prologue before the first proper song “Martyrs” is unleashed like a dropkick to the chops. A song of contradictions, it begins with a bludgeoning onslaught before the, dare I suggest it, somewhat lighter guitar tone is introduced over the top. Then, of course, we are acquainted with the jugular-rattling vocals of frontman Hywel Thomas and the tone for the EP is confirmed. The next tracks, “In Faith In Ruin” and “Left Behind” keep the EP chugging along pleasingly in a similar fashion, however “My Heart Is Bruised But Never Broken” immediately has an air of being a more cohesive song and is perhaps the first really memorable piece on the EP.
One of Virtue In Vain’s strengths, and something they utilize to very good effect, is their ability to tone things down a notch or two with the occasional interlude and build it back up to full metal neck-breaking mode. This is something that is probably best demonstrated as “Relapse” segues seamlessly into the final, stand-out title track and lead single, which ends with an imposing refrain, a nice high point to go out on.
This is a very promising debut from Virtue In Vain. They have bags of talent and potential, and it will be very interesting to see what parts they decide to build on as they go forward and develop their sound and style further. Oh, and on a totally frivolous note, the EP cover is super-frickin’ cool!
This is a very promising debut from Virtue In Vain. They have bags of talent and potential, and it will be very interesting to see what parts they decide to build on as they go forward and develop their sound and style further.