Published Jun 19, 2018Most bands do not come close to Vein's output of brusque hysteria. The Massachusetts unit's 2017 split seven-inch with .Gif From God impaled listeners with a deranged brand of convulsive, metallic hardcore in barely five minutes time. The release elevated them onto tours with Code Orange and No Warning, while their appearance at Philadelphia's This Is Hardcore festival cemented the band as an act to pay attention to in 2018.
Their full-length debut Errorzone mostly preserves the chaos and stridency, but also demonstrates a ripened revere for groove and inventive songwriting. The first single "Virus://Vibrance" introduces Errorzone's consistent dissonant riffs, pitch-shifting guitar pedals and DJ Shadow-esque electronic breaks in a manner that is familiar, but mostly unheard of in this capacity. A re-recorded version of "Old Data in a Dead Machine" is the album's strongest track, featuring jarring slam riffs, drastic transitions and subtle melodies.
Vocalist Anthony Didio cruelly croons "Every killer has a motive / I keep mine locked up in black boxes" as a hauntingly infectious chorus of juxtaposition on "Broken Glass Complexion," while the backing vocals and screeching guitar work on second single "Demise Automation" feel deliberately sinister.
There is so much texture in Vein's convictive and unruly songwriting that even interlude tracks "Anesthesia" and "Rebirth Protocol" feel less transitory and more like nu-metalcore anthems. Newfound listeners will hear Slipknot in the industrial seasonings, Disembodied in the heavy parts and Deftones throughout the clean tension, but ultimately Vein chase listeners down an explosive path they have forged all their own.
Errorzone is mostly an impressive and unique offering of screamo and '90s metalcore anguish, but Vein very briefly lose sight of their vicious end-game about halfway through. "Untitled" showcases very distracting singing that lacks their body of work's same petrifying demeanour, and "Doomtech" treads on at sinful length. Even still, the breakdown in the last minute of the track is utterly merciful.
The title track also leans on the longer side, but is weighted by stimulating melodic grooves and jaunting, violent tendencies. "End Eternal" displays the group's dynamic catharsis via drummer Matt Wood's technical, battering percussion and Didio's ferocious shrieks. Errorzone is an unequivocal body of scorn with a ferocious sound, opaque imagery and despondent lyricism that Vein will be recalled for amongst their contemporaries in years to come. (Closed Casket Activities)