If you are looking for something brazenly unique and innovative then Between Vice And Virtue the latest album from Belgian metallers KomaH will not exactly suffice your appetite but for insatiable groove veined hunger driven metal there are few better. Aggressive, powerful, and unrelenting, the ten track beast simply leaves no passion untouched or lifeless with its predatory voracious sounds.
Formed in 2007, the quintet of vocalist Leny Andrieux, guitarists Luigi Chiarelli and Greg Discenza, bassist Nicholas Brynin, and Jonas Sanders on drums, soon sparked enthused attention their way with debut album Straight Line, released in 2009. It was an album which took no prisoners but against the towering intent of Between Vice and Virtue confirms how strong and accomplished the band has become. Recorded with Charles Deschutter and produced by Luigi Chiarelli, the album also features guest appearances by Pro-Pain vocalist Gary Meskil and guitarist Adam Phillips on the track The King of Raptors.
The Brussels band takes mere seconds in seducing the ear, a serpentine groove squeezing tighter and tighter as it introduces opener The Birth. Once settled into its pattern of attack riffs carve their rich touch into the senses whilst rhythms scrambled synapses with their urgent and crippling punches. The coarse scowls of Andrieux squall within the devious web of grooves which entrance continually within the tempest of annihilatory intensity, and though the song switches its tact to tease and wrong foot it all goes to bring overwhelming pleasure to the listener. As mentioned there is nothing particularly new going on but you would be stretched to find too many songs or releases better or as irresistible in the area KomaH rampage.
One After The Other and Breaking Horns continue the strong start even if with a less impacting presence than the terrific first song. Both tracks though are not content in sitting back and simply chewing on the ear with skilled violence, the band easily able to do so and keep the listener riveting for sure, but as in every song there are shifts in gait and direction which are imaginative and seamlessly crafted. A Humbling Experience is the perfect example, the song from its emotive piano start with the gravelly tones of Andrieux adding a coarse glaze to the melodic lure thrusting forth heavyweight carnivorous riffs and acidic grooves to devour with glees as spite drips off every note and syllable. It is a continually impacting song which brings a wealth of raw energy and breath taking persistence through creative and unpredictable craft.
The King of Raptors adds more devastation to the battleground raging welcomingly inside the senses and thoughts, its intensity gnawing with rabid eagerness whilst melodic sonic enterprise picks the bones of its victim with an equally intrusive lust. It is another magnetic aggressor which makes way for the equally mighty and compelling Last Way To Cerberus, a track which shows more restraint than elsewhere but still leaves exhaustion in its impressive wake.
The instrumental Beyond The Limits is in a way puzzling but equally exceptionally potent. The dramatic and epic sounding piece feels out of place where it is positioned, though you can feel a relationship to the beginning of its predecessor. It feels almost like an interlude with no real connection to the sounds around it but it is so impressive and emotively inciting with colourful imagery flying from its depths, that one feels as an opener it would have truly found its triumph.
Through the remaining likes of the raptorial Destiny Written In Blood and the senses burrowing feast of excellence The Hunt, the album just ignites the passions continually. It is a release you can immerse within knowing that every time it gives its all with the purest of heart and temptation. Between Vice And Virtue is a thrilling and thoroughly satisfying release which knows what it is great at and takes that to its most potent extreme. KomaH is a band you can only ever eagerly make time for.
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