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Released: 2003, Independent
When I first received this CD in the mail, I immediately assumed that Vengince was a new band, simply because all of the band members look fairly young, and I’d never heard of them before. As it turns out, the band has been kicking around the underground since 1994! Based in California, the band has so far managed to put out four demo CDs and toured with the liked of Exhumed, Impaled, Disgorge, and Vile. This also led me astray, as I took them for a death metal band. Once again, I was dead wrong.
VEGINCE is the band’s first full-length album, and it’s quite the stomper. Mixing equal doses of thrash, Bay Area stomp (think Skinlab and THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…-era Machine Head), hardcore (and its offshoot metalcore), and a teensy bit of mallcore (just a LITTLE bit), this disc is an extremely challenging listen. Vocalist Relentless spews all kinds of hatred and social loathing in both a venomous hardcore howl and a semi-clean croon (usually reserved for choruses). Judging by the video for “Pain-Tap” that they provided, he’s quite the animated character on stage as well. The band’s guitarist, Dank is one talented dude, equally good at churning out a rhythmic riff and firing off a quick solo (the solo in “Pain-Tap” is excellent). Through it all the rhythm section pounds away and propels the songs with forward mass. Good, but nothing outstanding. Aside from providing the occasional intro sample, I’m not quite sure what Father, credited with samples, FX, and backing vocals, does.
This is undoubtedly a seasoned band, and one that knows what they’re doing, and yet I find I can’t bring myself to fully embrace this disc, always holding it at arm’s length, tired of dealing with it come track 8. I think the problem is that there’s not enough going on in these songs to keep them interesting for a full 55 minutes (the album’s running time). In fact, most hardcore albums that I’ve heard don’t last near that long, and perhaps there’s a good reason for that. I feel almost bad saying that, because it’s obvious that Vengince is trying damn hard to make a name for themselves, and I applaud the effort. If they tighten up the songwriting they could come back with a killer next time out.
2)Back to Bitterness
6)Dormant Until You
12)Choked by Lies
14)I Cannot Regret
Dank: Guitars, Vocals
Father: Samples, FX, Vocals
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