Vise Massacre - Expendable Humans
From the historic hardcore haven of New York City come yet another fresh face to the scene in Vise Massacre. The trio have been honing their craft in the age-old method of stepping in front of an audience and leaving it all on the stage, throughout their native New York and having a rare opportunity to take their assault overseas to Japan. Expendable Humans marks their official debut full-length and is almost entirely produced by the band themselves. The results are well above par for the course, enthralling and heavy in a way that satisfies and stands on it's own merits in the face of a very rehashable genre.
Each member leaves a certain mark from track to track, with frontman Rich Muller lending a quick and heavy hand on the axe coupled with a potent, mid-ranged voice all too fitting the style of hardcore the band revels in. Bassist Chris Vezza maintains a heady presence, holding together the chaos with steady grooves that tend to stand out a touch more in the mix than many other hardcore acts allow. However, if I had to pinpoint the real lynchpin to the entire mix, it is certainly the percussion work of one Jerry Carbone, whose frantic double-bass and creative fills would be sorely missed and leave something to be desired. At 31 minutes, the album's 14 tracks tend to blur together at a casual listen, but moments certainly stick out. I for one didn't really take full heed of what I was hearing until track 5, "Something Like Silence" and it's more patient, rewarding riffage. It's the one track I'd send anyone looking to check the band out towards, as it represents both the core elements of Vise Massacre while also easily being the most well-crafted and potent song available in the bunch.
The album isn't so much hit and miss as it is one extended dose of damn fine hardcore, with "Something Like Silence" sort of peaking early on. While pure hardcore or any of it's variations are rarely my cup of tea, as they say, I don't see why anyone who takes to this brand of noise couldn't enjoy Expendable Humans. As I am fond of saying of most hardcore acts, the studio is only a means of luring the uninitiated to the true heart of the matter, which is of course live and in person. That is truly where such music shines.
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