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Virial – Transhumanism Award winner

by Alex Barnard at 06 November 2021, 10:46 PM

VIRIAL is a Technical Death Metal band from Italy. “Transhumanism” is the group’s second album, released by Vicious Instinct Records on September 24, 2021.

“Transhumanism” expands upon a concept first developed in a song off the band’s debut record, “Organic Universe.” On “Transhumanism”, the humanoid creatures of the planet Aurelia have ascended to a higher form of living known as “technological singularity,” in which man and machine are combined. A chilling concept indeed, the music of this album reflects that idea brilliantly. Christian Wieser’s riffs have a lot of drive and melodic depth to them, while his solos give off a distinctive, Marty Friedman-esque flair: technically astounding yet still rock ’n’ roll. Thomas Wieser’s gruesome bellows and haunting cackles litter each track like a beast leaving a trail of destruction behind it. And finally, the rhythm section that is Philip Dollinger and Stefan Rojas puts other bands to shame with the duo’s tightness.

Of course, the band’s longer form writing is superb, as one would expect when dealing with a concept album. This is evidenced, in particular, in the three-part track “Aurelia.” Switching with ease between crushing riffs (“Aurelia I – Deterioration”), beautiful acoustic guitars (“Aurelia II – Purgatory (Instrumental)”) and then back to brutality (“Aurelia III – Realignment”) shows the mark of a band with truly excellent musicians in it.

Other highlights from the track listing include “Interstellar Voyage,” which features so many insane riffs that I lost count; “Transhumanism,” the title track, which features a lovely acoustic intro followed immediately by dizzyingly fast guitar lines; and “The Insight,” which has, in my opinion, Thomas Wieser’s most brutal vocal performance on the entire album.

Overall, this is a masterfully executed album! VIRIAL have illustrated the fundamental cornerstones of any good Technical Death Metal album with this record: tight musicianship, memorable yet unconventional riffs, and lyrics that go beyond the standard blood and gore of Death Metal. It will be interesting to see what the band comes up with next.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Production: 8
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Discovery
2. Project Cyclops
3. Interstellar Voyage
4. March Of Prometheus
5. The Insight
6. Aurelia I – Deterioration
7. Aurelia II – Purgatory (Instrumental)
8. Aurelia III – Realignment
9. Quantum Leap
10. Transhumanism
11. Cosmic Code
12. Technological Singularity
Christian Wieser – Lead guitar, songwriting
Thomas Wieser – Vocals, rhythm guitar
Philip Dollinger – Bass guitar
Stefan Rojas – Drums
Record Label: Vicious Instinct Records


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