Dario | Nov 15, 2023 | 0
Of Virtue – Omen
It is always nice to get the chance to review an album by a band I have just recently seen live. Of Virtue fall very neatly into that category having performed at UK Tech-Fest this year. They were one of my top bands of the festival and this Michigan based outfit are definitely on the way up. 2023 sees the release of their fourth album to date and they have just completed a European tour. This will have given them the chance to promote “Omen” in 21 cities across 8 countries.
Metalcore comes in all sorts of manifestations. Of Virtue’s version is melodic metalcore, with the emphasis being on melodic. In fact, that is a bit of an understatement and at times it veers dangerously close to pop music. This is not a criticism, merely a recognition of the huge variety in the material. The twelve tracks are short and sharp, all around the three-to-four-minute mark. What is guaranteed is that some of these tunes will be running round your head for a while.
If this was a game of guess that genre, the opening title track ‘Omen’ might have you puzzled. Atmospheric bits, fuzzy vocals, clean vocals, catchy choruses, industrial riffs and of course metalcore are all thrown into the mix. Straight away you get a feel for what you are about to receive. Next up that is ‘Hypocrite’ which is faster and harder but still with a melodic chorus. This was released back in 2022 as a single and is a good place to start your experience of the band.
Of Virtue – Hypocrite (click here if the video does not play)
I defy you to keep still to the infectious pounding rhythm of ‘Cold Blooded,’ especially when it explodes in after the breakdowns. This is another 2022 single, and it is one of my favourite tracks on the album, so I recommend a listen.
Of Virtue – Cold Blooded (click here if the video does not play)
Whilst gathering information pre-UK Tech-Fest I came across the video for ‘Cut me Open.’ The band instantly went on my list of must-see acts at the festival, it was worth it, say no more.
Of Virtue – Cut Me Open (click here if the video does not play)
If there is such a thing as a metalcore ballad, then ‘Sober’ is it, and it is a thing of beauty. It is the shortest track on the album but one of the best.
Of Virtue – Sober (click here if the video does not play)
Returning things back to the ferocious, and perhaps the angriest song on the album comes A.N.X.I.E.T.Y. Although, even in the cacophony there are flashes of melody bringing brief moments of calm.
Of Virtue – A.N.X.I.E.T.Y. (click here if the video does not play)
The much mellower ‘Floating’ features Rory Rodriguez (Dayseeker) on vocals. He, vocalist Tyler Ennis, and guitarist/vocalist Damon Tate complement each other in this well-crafted song. Although it has a softer feel there is still a heavy structure to the track. Following this, tortured anguished vocals prevail in ‘True Colors’ as things are ramped up again. Choppy staccato riffs sandwich smoother melodic fillings offsetting the angrier parts.
A total of eight videos have been produced to promote this album. This allows you to listen to a big slice of the album in advance. ‘Sinner’ is one of the catchier songs among them and as previously mentioned, veers towards pop. Of course, the heavy riffs override that impression.
Of Virtue – Sinner (click here if the video does not play)
Much the same can be said of ‘Holy’. The clean vocals take the lion’s share across the album and that’s true here.
Of Virtue – Holy (click here if the video does not play)
One of the stand out tracks is ‘Cannibals’ with a chorus that will stick in the memory that’s for sure. It has great riffs as well.
Of Virtue – Cannibals (click here if the video does not play)
Taking things up to an acceptable final 40-minute mark is ‘False Idols’. There are no fillers on this release and this track pulls out all the stops. You may well be reaching for the replay button.
I am not usually a fan of albums full of short tracks, but this is one of those exceptions. Even if you are not a fan of metalcore you might find yourself warming to this band. The aggression that inevitably comes with the genre is tempered by the melodic elements running through the album. This is definitely a band to watch out for in the future.
- Cold Blooded
- Cut Me Open
- Floating ft Rory Rodriguez (Dayseeker)
- True Colors
- False Idols