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Vicious - First Drop of Venom

Vicious
First Drop of Venom
by Matt Coe at 28 September 2014, 1:49 PM

From Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada we have an interesting lineup for VICIOUS, as the drummer is the main vocalist and on their debut album “First Drop of Venom” the band would employ three guitarists. Lineup changes have occurred since this release – Brycen and Cody leaving due to musical differences and now paring themselves down to a four-piece – but what we have on this 10 track effort is a band entrenched in a lot of the Classic, Old-School Heavy Metal and Hard Rock that was a staple of the 1970’s and early 1980’s NWOBHM scene.

I can sense they use a lot of similar genre-blending qualities as their fellow Canadian mentors like SKULL FIST or CAULDRON – as certain songs have a little bit of that rawer Thrash quality combined with straight ahead Hard Rock, while others are just pure Heavy Metal to the bone. “Pythonic Force” for instance has a lot of that TWISTED SISTER meets early Thrash movement riffing – accenting key sections with twin note trail-offs, while “Hearing the Call” and “Free Man” possess those tempos and chord changes that are 100% tried and true for Classic Heavy Metal.

VICIOUS isn’t necessarily the speediest bunch in terms of their tempos – they prefer to be more restrained in an anthem-like template, the choruses very easy on the ears while a lot of the instrumental sections present some fireworks in the lead break department. The struggle in full appreciation of these songs lies solely at the vocals of drummer Jack Gracie. His semi-moaning, semi-strained efforts are not always in key, and probably would fit better in a more Punk or Alternative band than something that is more Traditional Metal sounding. Check out the epic “Final Stand” or the doomy “Eternal Sickness” and you’ll understand all facets of his limitations, and I hope down the line they find a way to rectify this minor distraction.

“First Drop of Venom” has a lot of those primal qualities that attract many to the movement from the start. VICIOUS are off to a decent start, let’s see where their next recording takes them.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cruisin’
2. Hearing the Call
3. Eternal Sickness
4. Engage the Blade
5. Wildcat
6. Pythonic Force
7. Free Man
8. Bring Down the Hammer
9. Prelude to the Dawn of Dreams
10. Final Stand
Lineup:
Jack Gracie – Lead Vocals, Drums
Adam Clarke – Guitars
Cody Ramsdale – Guitars
Devin Cashin - Guitars
Brycen Gunn – Bass
Record Label: Self-Released / Independent
     


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