Album Review :
A Thousand Times Repent - Virtue Has Few Friends

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Band: A Thousand Times Repent
Title: Virtue Has Few Friends
Label: Tribunal Records
Releases: 3/11/2008
Review By: JoshIVM

Tracklisting:

01. Curses! Another Shape-Shifting Wraith!
02. A Band Of Hunters Stalk In Edo
03. Take Me To The Witch Of The Waste… We Have Much To Discuss
04. That Was The Night Everything Changed…
05. So Much For Middle-Earth
06. Complete Relinquish. Utter Abandon.

Members/Duties:

Nate: Guitar
Dowd: Guitar
Chris: Guitar
Jeremy: Bass
Shannon: Drums
Darsen: Vocals

I just happened across these guys on Myspace sometime early last year. I didn’t know what to expect but within the first 30 seconds they had me hooked! They are in the same vein of music as other Georgia bands like With Blood Comes Cleansing but offer a beauty in their music that the rest of the bands have not been able to achieve. I didn’t realize that at first but after a thorough listen of their album this became clear.

“You are demons. I think the only thing you’ll taste today is your own blood!” What a way to start an album and taken from an online anime series. The music and vocals kick in right after that and all I can say is brutal! The music was thunderous and caused my speakers to shudder! The guitar are extremely heavy and are utilized perfectly. They just don’t chugga-chugga constantly, but throw in a decent amount of fingerwork and high/lows (the ones like Norma Jean made hugely popular). This band transcends the new wave of most deathcore and somehow have blended both beauty and brutality into a masterpiece! “A Band Of Hunters Stalk In Edo” brings more of the ferocious brutality that had hooked me on the first song but it also brings a surprise. After a great section of breakdowns, the heaviness instantly melts away into an airy guitar solo. Just a bit further along came singing, yes clean singing! I’ll talk more about that further on. I couldn’t get enough of the beginning of “Take Me To The Witch” with it’s fantastic showing of the guitarists. This band is talented beyond it’s years. If I didn’t know better someone could pass this off as a band’s second or third album, not just a self-released EP. My absolute favorite track has to be “That Was The Night Everything Changed”. It is the perfect combination of heavy and light and if I were to pick one song to show you it would be this one. This is the first song I heard from the band once they posted it on their Myspace last year. The first 3 and half minutes were incredibly intense and then came those sung vocals. It builds and builds into an anthemic chorus before mellowing back out and quietly coming to an end.

The most surprising part of the album is how good this singing is. It’s better than 90% of the bands who sing throughout all of their songs. I’m not talking about just good singing, it’s, dare I say, beautiful. It’s especially highlighted in the final track which is not heavy at all. It’s a piano driven song where the vocalist pours out his heart. One of the most worshipful songs of the year. It amazed me the range of Darsen’s vocals. From deep, brutal growls, to yells, squeals, and to incredible melodies. I’d put him up against any other metal vocalist out there. Let’s not leave out the rest of the band either. They are tight in every position. The rhythm section doesn’t let up and keeps everything together. The guitarists also keep things interesting adding enough variety to the fury that will not allow you to get bored.

Overall Rating: This band transcends the new wave of most deathcore and somehow have blended both beauty and brutality into a masterpiece! This album is one of my favorite albums of 2007, easily in the top 5! This EP is amazing and clearly the folks at Tribunal thought so as well, and are re-releasing it March 11th. Do yourself a favor and pick this incredible debut up! (10/10)

Standout Tracks: “That Was The Night Everything Changed”, “Complete Relinquish. Utter Abandon.”

Website
Myspace
Purevolume
Tribunal

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