WRVTH 02Before I progress further, I want to make something clear: I’ve long held the belief that the letter “V” is not a vowel. Yes, I know, look at my screen name, but bear with me here. Call it being stubborn from years of having it drilled into my head in elementary school, but when I see it used in words like “kvlt” or “trve,” I cringe. Or if it’s used in place of an “f”, I also shudder. Case in point: Cali tech-deathsters WRVTH. How do you even pronounce that? “Ruhth?” “Rooth?” “Rivith?” I’m sure if I were Nergal, I would be jizzing spasmodically looking at their name right now. However, since this is their third album (and first with Unique Leader and under their current name), I did a bit of digging and found out this band was once Wrath of Vesuvius, so we will go with saying “wrath” and moving on. *Grumbles*

And with a gently strummed guitar melody, so begins “Harrowing Winds,” howling in with little to reflect its name whatsoever until the thick bass arrives. One thing you notice right away is just how powerful and upfront Taylor Preston’s bass is in the mix. There’s no mistaking that his basslines will be heard, and his fretwork and acrobatics are quite impressive indeed. The other thing you notice is vocalist Thomas Vasquez. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to discover the long-lost audition tapes of Chester Bennington’s (Linkin Park) tiny dog trying out for Converge? Well, a) you’re an asshole for even wanting to wonder this, and b) come get your prize, because it’s right here. In minute doses, Vasquez’s high-end screaming is powerful enough. However, over the course of the album, it wears thin when it’s kept at one pitch, and at one level of intensity (up to 11 always), for the majority of the record.

“So you don’t like the vocals much,” I hear you proclaim through your keyboard or snazzy phone or tablet. “But what of the music?” It plays out like a long, scenic, mostly peaceful and inoffensive journey to some place where you swear you’ve been before, but can’t quite make it out… plus yelping. In other words, it borrows a bit heavily from the lighter moments of groups like Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me, with much-needed sprinkles of aggression to make things at least a little bit interesting, such as the incredible beginning to “Larkspur,” or the part at 4:47 of closer “Cease to Exist” where the band leaves one of its many, many tranquil parts to successfully drop a huge bomb on you. I just wish there were more moments of aggression here, as the other parts didn’t engage me like they should, though not from wont of trying.

WRVTH 01

Zack Ohren handled the production on this album, and despite it being very low on the dynamic scale, at least it doesn’t hurt like Fallujah‘s The Flesh Prevails did, although the cymbals are still quite atrocious at times. But what bothers me more is the songwriting. These guys are all clearly talented musicians. Marcus Vasquez and Jeremy Larsen are great guitarists, and Joseph Serrano is a talented drummer, but the music isn’t engaging enough. Also, yelping.

I’m torn as to what to give this album, as I find the band to be incredibly gifted and passionate about their music, and yet I’m not likely to come back to this record ever again. I really wish there was a score to reflect that, I really do, because they’re talented. Maybe the next one will floor me, at least I hope it does.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Unique Leader Records
Website: Facebook.com/WRVTH
Release Dates: EU: 2015.06.15 | NA: 06.16.2015

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  • Rob

    Can’t say that I totally dislike this…it reminds me of a more polished version of something you would have found on Tribunal Records back in the early 00’s. The vocals especially have that quality. Could definitely stand to trim the fat, though, with the softer bits.

    • Grymm

      And there are way too many soft bits to be had on here.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Giving 2.5 to this after this review is like saying you might enjoy seeing some necrophilic porn because the chick there (the alive one) is very talented and passionate.

    Can’t say I like it, but it’s not horrible. The drums sound a bit too much “modern”, a bit lifeless, which is a shame as the drummer gives us a nice show (not amazing but enjoyable). The voice sounds a bit bad on the highpitched parts. Wouldn’t give it such a good note though

    • Grymm

      And that second paragraph is why I gave it a 2.5. I don’t see it as a 2.0 or lower, but it sure isn’t a 3.0.

      It’s more “meh” than “bad”.

      • Alexandre Barata

        I see it more as disappointing, as if they in fact could write something better they could probably play it, but they instead created something that is in the same page as drinking a cup of water when you’re not thirsty at all. I bash them for creation lazyness! :)

  • Chronic-Headache

    when I read to myself “kvlt” I always say it so it sounds like svelte

    makes me feel elegant, posh, and pretentious whlie n3kr0, br00tal and trve all at once.

    • Grymm

      Trve = “Trivee”.

  • This is not even worth a 2.5.

    • Grymm

      This wasn’t an easy one to grade. It’s not really a disappointment (2.0) as I had zero expectations to begin with, and it’s not what I would call a good record (3.0) because that would insinuate that I would be coming back to it, and I don’t see that happening at all.

      2.5 was where I felt it should be, as there are good parts here and there, as well as “Larkspur” being a good song.

  • YOV VLL VRE VS FVLSE VS GOOGLE OBVIOUSLY:

    http://i.imgur.com/Lxe7id0.png

    • Kronos

      Underappreciated gems of the AMG comments: Part 37

    • Grymm

      You do revlize thvt I svw thvt screen how mvny fucking times while looking them up?*

      *-replacing a’s with v’s, even in the context of a joke, just made my heart die that much more.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      YOV MISSED V V IN OBVIVSLY, GVVNV

    • Doomdeathrosh

      I tried to read OBVIOUSLY as OBFIOUSLY!…Doesn’t work!

  • Vice-President of Hell

    you don’t like ov and wrvth? so wh∆t ∆bout a tri∆ngle?

    • Martin Knap

      WH▲†‡† ?

    • Kronos

      Fuck Born of Osiris so much and fuck all of their albums that aren’t The Discovery.

      • Grymm

        And also fuck BoO for not knowing who the fuck Glenn Danzing was.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    An album released by Unique Leader that needs more moments of aggression? It must be a first…

    • Kronos

      It’s also above a DR3. Times are a-changing at UL.
      (zing!)

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Well, its really not that bad. You can see the effort. But if your going to be “mostly peaceful”, then why even bother with the KVLT name?