Released: 2013, Bleak Recordings
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
When I saw an album weighing in at 18 songs I knew exactly what to expect; grindcore.
Portuguese nutters Utopium have hit us with their latest release from Bleak Recordings entitled 'Vicious Consolation/Virtuous Totality'. In total honesty, this album is, for the most part, an utter mess. It seems to be mindlessly heavy for the sake of being heavy, and after 3 minutes I was on track 4 (arguably the only redeemable feature in the first half of the album.
The album doesn't so much subscribe to grind as much as very fast/pointless death and thrash with some elements of groove. The album contains some nice touches with some decent tempo changes and shifts between genres of metal, but nothing to write home about. The vocals are poor and not very well produced and musicianship is average at best.
I feel like I can't comment on an album such as this, there is much chaos going on it's hard to stay in tune with the album as it is utterly relentless, and not in the best way. Constant snare bashing with horrible guitar drone is not my idea of metal and never will be, but maybe it's your idea of metal, in which case I'd recommend it you.
In terms of energy the album is fine, lots going on and definitely something you jump about and throw people across the street to. Track 9, 'Dissolution', 1 mins 10 secs; probably the only rest bite you get, so enjoy it before Utopium strap you back in and speed off the edge of a cliff in an 18 wheeled lorry of an album (at least the sound is similar).
If you're into your grindcore then I can imagine this album is up your street, as earlier stated there is a lot going on, but for me there is too much of one thing and not enough of other things that would make the album more likable.
Most of the songs sound exactly the same, barely any of them exceed 2 minutes in length, however this doesn't matter as the album sounds like one long, painful song throughout. I will give the band marks for production and the small elements of groove that made me start banging my head, only to be halted be relentless snare bashing to avoid breaking my neck.
All in all, average at the very best. If you like your grindcore it's worth checking them out on youtube to see if you like it, but what I heard held no creativity or imagination, it was (for want of a better word) just noise, and I barely use such a philistine statement very often.
Review by Andy May