Year : 2012
Genre : Groove Thrash Hybrid
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Rating : 8.8 / 10
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Vexxus is an independent groove/thrash hybrid hailing from Hell in the way of the United States of America, and, while their debut "Binary Reflection" is a release that comes to you with high octane garage-charisma production values, the notion I just told you makes said contribution one of the most likable pieces of the current year so far, in my opinion. The guitars are smartly limited in their mean intentions to occupy all that much sonic volumetrics, - a production strategy similar in character to that of Pharaoh's - focusing instead on rendering the guitar anatomy "just sufficiently enough" so you are able to make out the spiritual message no problem, IF you are serious about it. Yes, surprise, surprise : sometimes you need to look for the music, and this baby right here delivers it aptly, once you are serious about paying attention to it. Guys, let's talk about this record.
The disc is pretty efficient at declaring the shape of things to come, as the actual opening track "Skies Rollback" - the intro is an elegant KUDOS! to digital consciousness - lays out in front of you a quite nicely varied and eloquently sculpted sonic landscape that reigns as efficient at revealing real deal thrash of elegant riffcraft as it is at revealing a beefy groove metal fixation that reigns ever-present in the blood flow of the overall temper. The lead singer definitely has a Philip Anselmo narrative going on, - who doesn't who sings groove metal? - but let me tell you that he sounds muuuuuch much better than an everyday average Anselmo imitator. Listen to the second song, "Amram" : this piece is very similar in character to the Pantera Epic "Cemetery Gates", no?
The variation on this disc exhibits consistency - oxymoron? - as the intended boundaries are soberly measured AND played within, with a notable shift towards more unalloyed groove happening around the middle point. To put this notion more straightforward via an example, witness the fourth track : this one is reeking mid-tempo Pantera-, even Down, with a chorus that slams you against a cactus under a killing moon and wraps a crocodile around you southern style. The riff work-, the compositional ethos similarly reeks classic Pantera grooving - listen to the solo starting off from 3:35 : barefoot bass and solo guitar, Dimebag VS Rex style. Cool design.
I dare say that a steady, muscular balance-, and a true love and understanding of the premiere aspirations is maintained throughout the disc, yet the mentioned shift towards a more pronounced groove metal-unalloyed stance - marked by track four - is applied on the latter part of the 39 minutes the release spins for at its full value. This, I have nothing against, I just inform you of the presence of this shift. If you'd tell me that the song "I Am Crisis" is a live performance from Down, I'd might buy that and would be pretty impressed by such a live delivery.
"The Last" is a caressing emotional acoustic piece with truly beautiful male singing that isn't affectated and simply touches you at spiritual places you did not know you have, and I tend to think that this is a reflection towards Pantera's rendition of Planet Caravan, though, to be perfectly frank, I enjoyed this particular Vexxus track even more than said Planet Caravan cover. You need to Walk - no Pantera pun intended - a very fine line to make me compliment your emotional singing if you are a male, and you need to PayPal me a dollar to accomplish that in case your name is James LaBrie.
All in all, The album comes to you as a safe recommendation if you are curious about heartfelt groove metal with a thrashy temper, and I personally truly like the - uhm - realistic-, beefy/grouchy garage-production values of the disc. Organic groove/thrash hybrid with quality, competent riffcraft, decent, ballsy singing, and no production wizardry incorporated. Recommended.
Rating : 8.8 / 10
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