A Vicious End - The Hills Will Burn - Reviewed By Powermetal ! Check it out here at this link: http://powermetal.de/review/review-A_Vicious_End/The_Hills_Will_Burn,37606.html
When I read "Progressive Metalcore", I think of established creatives like AFTER THE BURIAL or AUGUST BURNS RED, or the sensational, much too unknown Swiss band SCARS DIVIDE. The Bay Area musicians from A VICIOUS END are also sorted into the same sophisticated drawer by the promoter. However, the orientation of this band project from the States is different. In addition to obvious Gothenburg holdovers, A VICIOUS END offers a strong groove metal list as well as modern Djent sounds on "The Hills Will Burn". The songwriting is therefore quite varied, but the self-produced album also has some undesirable rough edges.
The sound of the stately twelve-tracker is sparkling clean, which is why gross blunders such as abrupt two-second fadeouts, with which some songs are stalled, are difficult to explain. In addition, the (rare) crooked clear vocals disturb the overall picture, as well as the sparkling clean, but rather unsuitable female guest vocals on 'Fields Of Gray'. On the other hand, the powerful guttural vocal work is positive. Fortunately, the diversity of the album also provides amusement - the lack of homogeneity, the big problem of countless modern metal releases, "The Hills Will Burn" is actually not great to chalk up, but classic Scandinavian homages like 'At Dawn We Ride' or 'Insidious' simply shoot too powerful. Groovier too, numbers like 'Smoke And Mirrors' and 'Salt The Earth' based on US Metalcore are more convincing; It didn't really need the same sounds. There is also room for classic hardcore breakers ('Don't Back Down', 'Let The Waters Consume You') on the disc.
"The Hills Will Burn" delivers a lot of good approaches, some really strong numbers, but also has some rather technical mistakes and impurities in its luggage. A VICIOUS END should move a little more attention to the final version and focus on the strengths of the band at the next attempt.
Check out tips: At Dawn We Ride, Insidious, Smoke And Mirrors
A Vicious End Is a progressive metalcore band from the Bay Area, California. They are independently produced and are distributed through CD Baby. Founded in 2020, the band wrote and released the album “The Hills Will Burn” within a year of formation. In the face of a global pandemic, the band utilized the online platform “Fiverr” to bring together musicians from around the world for the creation of their debut album.
The “Hills Will Burn” features Igor Sokolov (St Petersburg, Russia) on vocals, Armando Diaz on Guitar/Bass/Drums, and guest performances by Christina Rotondo (U.K.- featured on “Fields Of Gray”), Daniel Picknell (U.K.- featured on “Without You”), Joylin (Ukraine- featured on “Behold The Archer”), and Carlos Carty (Peru- featured on “Trail of Tears”). The album was mixed and mastered by Filipe Gruber (Venezuela), the artwork was composed by Vhummel (Brazil).
The album features ominous, down-tuned guitar riffs paired with ferocious vocals centered around the growing social unrest spreading across America.
A Vicious End’s first full-length work starts off with the short instrumental “A New Beginning”, which creates an epic heavy metal atmosphere but is soon interrupted by “At Dawn We Ride”. Noticeably a lot heavier, the second song continues on a more melodic death metal / metalcore note. Next on is the gentler “Fields of Gray” where we can enjoy Christina Rotondo’s beautiful clean vocals, complementing the main vocal line just perfectly. Then we can hear “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Salt The Earth” – two more upbeat and energetic songs followed by “The Black Pearl”. The latter seems to be the heaviest piece so far – the slow and heavy guitar parts even set an almost djent-like mood – certainly a great genre development. The following “Trail of Tears” is probably the most unexpected track on the record, combining the metal and metalcore genres with Carlos Carty’s traditional music elements which showcases Armando’s more experimental side. The next one, “Don't Back Down” sounds more aggressive in its beginning but the hypnotizing clean vocals gradually make it more progressive and melodic. In turn, “Without You” and Dan Picknell’s clean vocals again make for an interesting addition to the album and create a great contrast to everything else we have heard so far which was mostly incredibly heavy - not that anyone is complaining! We also cannot fail to mention the magnificent guitar parts which are present all over the record and are the one consistent element that make it truly memorable and compositionally outstanding. “Let The Waters Consume” and “Insidious” are also great examples of Armando’s guitar excellence. The twelfth and final song “Behold The Archer” ends with a touching and kind of open-ended violin part descending into silence.
We can safely say that “The Hills Will Burn” is an intriguing and promising start to A Vicious End’s musical path!