A Vicious End – The Hills Will Burn - Reviewed By Metal Temple ! Check it out here at this link: http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/a_2/a-vicious-end-a-new.htm
A VICIOUS END are 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.
“A New Beginning” kicks off the album with a nice little instrumental piece, seemingly warming up for the show itself. Guitars are flexing and seem to have melodies in flow nicely.
“At Dawn We Ride” sound like it should be the title of an AMON AMARTH song, but the melodies built up from the previous song serve well here. The introduction of the vocals hits well, but for me the melodies are not even enough to match, they still sound like they are warming up. Vocally, it is very generic Metalcore, nothing that we haven't heard before from many bands previously. The pace does pick up, but never feels like its going to let go fully.
“Fields Of Gray” needs to pick things up, shake it up. The start of the song doesn’t appear to do this. It needed more pace and something different harmony wise. The female guest vocals are a good addition, it adds depth, but musically, this song is in no way different to the others. Her appearance could have had a different tone to the male vocals, but they don’t. the pace is still sounding like the song has hit its peak and is starting to slow down. It’s a mid-level song, could be used in a good album as a bridge to change tempo in the album, but it really needed to have done more.
“Smoke and Mirrors” has the same low-level pace and melodies playing through the motions. The melodies are fluid, but not expansive. The song is ticking over nicely, but fails to take off. Its only a short song and for me it never changes, it doesn’t seem to do anything, but with a few changes in direction, maybe even a solo it could have expanded the album,
“Salt the Earth” has picked up the pace and aggression, finally. However, once it hits a semi-good level it stop progressing. The melodies are better than before, needs a bit more expansion once more, but it is heading in the right direction.
“The Black Pearl” keeps this new found aggression going. It works well, just needed a better riff to match it. They do slow things down, which I never get why they do it mid-flow it slows the song down too much and fails to pick back up. Melody wise it is still a decent sound, but it is the same flavor as the rest of the album.
“Trail Of Tears” goes into the instrumental experiment styles to start, before the generic Metalcore riff joins. The pace is not bad, needs more from the guitars here, but that seems to be the overall feel. When they try going heavier vocally, i.e. WHITECHAPEL levels, it fails and falls away. This song seems to be trying to expand the material more, but needed to take that extra step also. This is the best song of the album so far
“Don’t Back Down” continues the aggressive (somewhat) start. However, it soon backs down unfortunately, and lays low with the pace. The song just sits in its own pace, refusing to move this is such a boring song in comparison to the previous, just as I thought the album was expanding, it started to close in on itself once more.
“Without You” continues with the tired and dull approach, the album has already clearly peaked and now its just hurting the praise built up so far. This song was not needed. Its monotone and does not t justice to the progression of the album
“Let the Waters Consume” has more pace than the previous song, but still sounds tired and short of ideas. It is just repeating the melodies and became little more than background noise for me. There is nothing new still with their approach. The worse part about this point of the album is that “Insidious” also did nothing to ignite the end of the album. It has a generic and mediocre sound to the melodies. There is some aggression in the song, but nothing special. A few screams and solos would have done wonders.
“Behold The Archer” closes out the album with an instrumental start, as the vocals are included we hear the familiar sounds of the material used throughout the album. This could have been a song to flourish an ending to the album. It isn't. It isn't the worst song either, but it’s the same level as the rest of the material.
I’ve been into Metalcore for 15+ years and I have heard it all. This album needs a shake up, some fresh ideas. Otherwise all future work will just sound generic. This is still early days for the band and I hope they see what they have done and how to expand and improve.
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!