Virtues – Nothing Grows EP
Released: February 14, 2020
Wade Felsch – Vocals
Alex Miller – Guitar
Daniel Devitt – Guitar
Zeke Zizek – Bass
Jack Dowie – Drums
There’s an abundance of Aussie metal pouring into our community, and coming out of Brisbane is self-described metalcore band Virtues who’ve just released an EP called ‘Nothing Grows’ and the six-track release is an eclectic fusion of various heavy sub-genres that come together in an impressively groovy way. We gave the EP a spin and now we’re going to take you on the journey with us.
‘Exist|Expire’ launches with no introduction at all, and it doesn’t need one. With a prog/djent instrumental, the track brings in rhythmic elements reminiscent of Parkway Drive meets Lamb of God. Front-man Wade Felsch has an uncanny ability to deliver those Randy Blythe-esque vocals quite organically. The verses are muddy and chaotic but the choruses return to that head-banging chorus. Towards the end of the track a monster a dark cloud of looming riffs builds, in all suspense of a downpour of a break-down – which could go any way. Instead of the typical earth-shattering bass-drop, the band went with an eloquent melodic bridge, which showcased the band’s talent quite brilliantly. Moving on into ‘Disillusioned’, the instrumental collection continues with a technical approach to that groove metal feel they’ve established earlier. Felsch carries himself in-tune with the music like it’s second-nature. A high-pitched guitar solo soars through the mid-way of the track as the rest of the band joins in for a technical crescendo that metal-nerds are going to love. The Queenslanders have at this point very much cemented their sound – distinct, unique, and most importantly, sure of themselves.
Mid-way through this beast, Virtues deliver ‘White Willow’ a tasteful metallic number that creates immediate suspense, with that same groove they’ve showcased throughout. The EP so far has quality production recorded that is extremely noteworthy, which many bands surpass when budgeting on an EP, and it’s not worth skimping out on. The waves of breakdowns in this track will be delivered so tightly live. The track pauses in the same way that Parkway Drive’s ‘Romance is Dead’ does, but this isn’t surprising as the EP was mastered by that very album’s producer Steve Smart. It’s kind of nice and pick up on that familiarity – see if you can in the riffs towards the end of the song when you hear it.
The back-end of the album contains ‘Dread’ which feels like the environment of the back-end of an EP. A slow and steady instrumental commences for 45-seconds before the progressive-influenced guitars step in, with Felsch’s distorted roar, which hasn’t even yet been described. The growl is gruff, consistent and in-tune with the band’s groove-metal influences. ‘Dread’ continues with soaring riffs and relatable melodic verses. The self-titled track is a big-un, and it’s easily the band’s biggest track on the EP. ‘Nothing Grows’ matches the eerie dead forest album art appropriately with its eerie intro and chaotic progression. The band go all-out with this one, switching to and fro between fast chords and prolonged holds. The mid-way breakdown is huge and is reminiscent of noughties metal, with a very close sound to Lamb of God’s ‘Sacrament’ era. A sexy solo connects with the dark and heavy melodic solo towards the end, that concludes the band’s delicious EP in humble style.
Overall, old-school metal fans that find themselves exploring the depths of contemporary metalcore will really dig this effort by Virtues who have gone all out on delivering their version of metal in 2020. Check it out and give them a “like”, “follow” and whatever the cool kids are doing these days.
Virtues – Nothing Grows EP tracklisting
- White Willow
- Nothing Grows