Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Heaviest Album I've Heard - Vorov - Vorov EP



When the Ripple Writers decided to take on the task of picking the heaviest album they could think of and reviewing it… I had a momentary quandary.

How do you define heavy?
I’ve been down this road before in my own personal thoughts on music.  I’ve also had plenty of discussions with fellow music-lovers who almost unanimously consider heavy music to be some form of metal.  I’m not so sure.  While traditionally, I’d agree, I had to consider alternatives. 

For instance, there is lyrical heaviness…. the type that sits on your soul and weighs you down with the power of them.  Thrice’s Artist in the Ambulance and Vhiessu will always hit my right in the heart.  Then, there are albums that hit you with deep mood and darkness. 

However, I chose a newer band, which strips away all pretenses and just plays music that I call heavy.
I mean TRULY heavy. 

This newer band is called Vorov, and yes, they are a metal/punk band in the vein of Converge or Every Time I Die.  With these guys though, they have one goal… to shatter your mind and leave you breathless. 

With their debut three-song self-titled EP, Vorov assaults the senses with a battery of incredibly brutal guitar, destructive vocals, hammering drums, and chunky bass.   This band is made of some of my favorite musicians of all time. 

John Vail, formerly of the technical metal band Wretched, is one of the best guitar players alive. When I spoke to him about his new project, he said he wanted to go simple and just go out and have a great time playing truly heavy music. 

I have news for you, John.  You failed. 

This stuff isn’t simple.

He shows off his chops in a variety of ways.  While he has dropped the technical aspect of metal that we’ve grown to love with his music, he makes up for that by using an almost catchy style of heavy punk styling that just stick in your mind.  He’s one of the best song-writers alive.  This is dirty, nasty, and gritty music that has a brain. 

The rhythm section is the great Isaac Stone on bass and Chris Shirah of Burns Out Bright fills out the songs with incredible drive and intense riffs.  Isaac is an incredibly strong bassist who has massive amounts of tone and skills to keep up with Vail.  Shirah destroys the drums.  He absolutely nails the style and the substance. 

The musicality in the brutal band is top notch. 

Peyton Costill rounds out the band as the vocalist, and he does a great job of screaming his way through the album in a way that doesn’t sound forced.  This is a man who obviously knows how to convey a certain emotional tone through his screaming. 

In other words, he’s not screaming to be “scene”.  He’s not screaming to be a part of the “metal crowd”.  He’s screaming because he’s angry, and you feel that. 

Just the overall feeling I get when listening to Vorov is that of pure, unadulterated, primal emotion. 
This brings me to another point as to why I love this band. 

I LOVE METAL. The Ocean, Between the Buried and Me, Dillinger Escape Plan, Wretched... I love my local metal scene (in South Carolina) with bands like Islander, SHAOKAHN, Remembrance, Images, Carolyn, and MANY others being absolutely incredible.  These bands are not only brutal... but intricate and AMAZINGLY TALENTED and HARD WORKING MUSICIANS!

But I hate... HATE what some forms of metal is becoming. I just watched a music video featuring kids just loudly hitting one note in a rhythmic way with screaming over the top. Then, I looked at the comments talking about how this is "REAL BROOTAL METAL \m/ lol omg heavy like Emmure".
John, Isaac, Chris, and Peyton all have one thing in common.  They are gifted and supremely hard working guys who understand the value of their instruments and song writing.  They are heavy because they write it that way… not because they just expect the loud noises to make a crowd move.

LEARN HOW TO BE A MUSICIAN! Take pride in your craft! Or else the old fogeys like me will be left asking... "Do you even metal, bro?"

--The Professor

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