Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Vicious Circle-Unearthed Precision (EP 2018)

The guitar assault is fkn insane. Vinnie DiBianca really knows what he's doing, and it shows. Riffs and speed are varied enough to give each song a sense of independence, yet unified and cohesive in terms of style and production. The riffs are an onslaught of originality and brutality, and nothing sounds recycled. Dave Surran is a hell of a drummer too. The way he pounds his drums, the punch and the accuracy of the beats that unleashes upon the listener's ears, sounds so dangerous that it sometimes evokes an image of bullets piercing through bodies and puncturing concrete walls. Although I'm certainly a fan of thrash metal, I've barely come across a thrash band with a drummer that truly stood out. Aside from Slayer (Dave Lombardo), what other bands do you think of when you think of "great drummer"? Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Rigor Mortis, or Testament? I've never heard anyone talk about how great Lars Ulrich or Nick Menza is as a drummer. Have you? Allow me to humbly suggest Dave as one of the great thrash drummer and this EP is very convincing of Dave's drumming skill. Possessed but not processed - that's how I would describe Brian's vocal here. What makes this EP ultimately an incredible experience is the sense of danger that comes of violence, and nothing sounds more violent here than the vocals and the lyrics. Rather than tough-guy low growls or distortions, Brian shouts with urgency triggered by primal need self-defend, as if he's a rat cornered by a cat. As a result, his vocal sounds fresh and brutal at the same time. Yes, sometimes he whispers, sometimes he quietly sings. But in this album such deviations are not some cheap attempt to be diverse, it just serves as a counterpoint to the knife-sharp delivery of vocals, which in turns makes the shouting all the more purposeful. Bass player is killer as well, following the speed and anger of the band. To top all this off, the production is very appropriate. The sound of this EP, it's like a knife. The production of this  makes the guitar-drum-vocal combo sound like an audio equivalent of razor-sharp, sterile, shining knife that's yet to be blood-stained. Am I making sense? I hope so. Vicious Circle definitely will make your ears bleed !!
Review by Paul Caravasi