Album Review :
Righteous Vendetta - Lawless

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Band: Righteous Vendetta
Release: Lawless
Label: Red Cord Records
Release Date: November 2011
Reviewed By: BMer

Track Listing:

  1. From Zion
  2. Inheritance
  3. John, the Revelator
  4. Reason
  5. Lawless
  6. Prelude to Destruction
  7. Signs
  8. The Chosen One
  9. For The Skeptic
  10. The Psalmist

Lawless is the greatest thing to come out of Wyoming since, well, uh maybe its the first thing! Righteous Vendetta release their follow-up to The Dawning through Red Cord Records and it’s going to take people by surprise. A solid metalcore feel with fast hardcore drumming, metal riffs, and lyrics that are bold and leave no doubt as to where the band put their faith.

On Lawless you get eight fully-intense tracks and a closer “The Psalmist” to tie things up. The first track “Inheritance” gets the party started with some blood-pumping drums. The lyrical style is much like For Today, a call-to-arms in the name of Christ “Don’t think I’ve come to bring to bring peace… I have come to bring you a sword!” This style of writing works especially well when the sing-along parts are actually meaningful like on “Reason” where the lines “We must rise above the world… We Are Victorious!” are sung in unison. There is a clear urgency about the entire record that can be summed up with a line from “Prelude to Destruction” – “Fear is not an option when the fight of our lives is the fight for our souls.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking Lawless is full of cliche Christian lyrics, Righteous Vendetta show their artistic creativity in their writing like on “Lawless” where the writer reveals “I hear a voice softly calling my name… From the fog I arise a new creation.” The second-to-last track “For The Skeptic” is a beautiful cry out to the Lord that will hopefully reach the ears of non-believers. Reading through the lyrics you might envision a scene of acoustic guitars around a campfire at your favorite summer-camp “I lay my life down at the foot of the cross, as humble as I know how to be. Take this life and make a new creation out of me.”

Lyrically it is obvious that Righteous Vendetta have a clear purpose and mission about their work. Musically they’ve built an impressive foundation to support their message. The tracks on Lawless tend to stick to the basic format of a repeating chorus featuring clean vocals, while the verses offer deep growls and some more sinister vocals that are reminiscent of Called To Arms. On “John, the Revelator” the vocal delivery is very quick, almost with a rap-like feel while “The Chosen Ones” offers a more metal approach, heavy and low growls. It all comes together on “Prelude to Destruction”, an epic breakdown makes this track one of the standout tracks on Lawless. Righteous Vendetta show off their technical abilities as well, with excellent guitar-work like the solo on “Inheritance” that would make Stryper proud, the time-changes on “Signs” and the creative riffing on “Reason” and “For The Skeptic”. The band never sticks to repetitive, open-chord strumming that some heavy bands rely on today, Righteous Vendetta bring interesting, driving music that keeps each song unique and heavy on it’s own.

OVERALL Righteous Vendetta have produced a relevant, impacting album in Lawless that will be a mainstay for fans of the modern metallic hardcore trend. Fans of The Ghost Inside, Altars, Gideon will love Lawless for it’s creative songwriting and driving foundation. After an impressive debut, Lawless sounds like a veteran album with quality clear production and a band that clearly knows their mission.