Virtue In Vain – For All You Know Is The Mask I Wore Review

Virtue-In-Vain-Cover-ArtworkMy initial thought is that their introductory track sounds like something that could have come from Vol.3 The Subliminal Verses; the guitar tuning really reminds me of Danger (Keep Away). However our first track plunges into heavy, low tuned slightly irregular rhythms, not massively technical, but heavy metal with the occasional twist, which tips into metalcore slightly at times with higher pitched growling that borders on screaming, and all of these changes happen with seemingly no warning in the midst of each track when they happen.

We find classic low growling vocals for the most part, the tracks sound like there are two vocalists singing the higher and lower pitches of growl/ scream but I know the band has only one vocalist, which must mean that singer Hywel is incredibly versatile and that’s definitely something I tip my hat to him for. His bassier vocals are great, not quite as dynamic as Randy Blythe’s epic skills but he has his moments where he almost hits that mark.

The impression I get from this band is they basically love all music, and have found it impossible to decide what kind of style they want to epitomise or explore; it is literally impossible to categorise them anywhere except the broad all encompassing genre that is prog. I feel this EP could be much better executed, and the tracks a more ‘proggy’ length as they average at five minutes, to allow teeth to be sunk into the meat of the album’s sound as there is no narrative or sense of cohesion between the songs or even in the songs themselves since they change style so often. Now don’t get me wrong, the whole thing sounds great, the individual parts are presented with real talent and skill, but it’s like when a band or artist performs a mash up of everything they’ve done remixed together, it’s impossible to follow what’s happening, when it’s going to suddenly change and why; the difference here is that this is an actual album, not a remixed celebration of the progression of a musical career.

I enjoyed a medley of thoughts from a band with much musical skill but as part of their progression as a band and journey of self discovery, I really need to see some element of story as the imaginative skill it takes to pick which style would create a connection to listeners and an insight into a shared mind set is the real meat at the core of a great album.


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