Review: “Distrust” EP by VileGloom

Perhaps a new sub-genre of Metal is dawning with VileGloom calling themselves a Nu-Downtempo styled group. The Lebanon Oregon based group claim to fuse that classic eerie low and slow style with some newer groove elements and Nu-Metal introspective lyrics. Which is kind of what the Gloom sub-genre is all about. Not that sub-genres matter all that much any more with good music being good music and bands crossing genre divides 3-4 times in a single tune these days but none the less, it should make “Distrust” and interesting listen…

Chugging out of the gate like a freight train “Abysmal” does what it says on the tin. Dark Downtempo grooves with atmospheric lead guitar parts over the top adding a sense of menacing tension to the whole thing. The surprise is perhaps the opening 30 second burst which would grace any post-hardcore or even pop-punk tune before things get sinister. The eerie off kilter lead guitar work of “Distrust” that twirls around the strippers pole after the sound of a beeping hospital heart monitor is a glorious piece of magic that sets the one for the track off just right. It’s followed by some Downtempo bludgeoning rhythms and Julien’s vocals ranging from a higher pitched bark to a Deathcore growl. His Nu-Metal introspective lyrics about no longer wanting to move mountains for people who don’t care are on point and as title tracks go, this one is a fine summary of the bands sound on this EP. Contining the off kilter lead guitar work “Worthless” introduces some melody with a distorted spoken word rant in the background of a slow and almost Jazz inspired opening. When it all comes crashing down with some chugging rhythm riffs the leads don’t drop, instead offering a musical sense of insanity to match the asylum bound lyrics of a mad man. Falling away at the end for a piece of programmed drum work with more leads it’s a song that sounds as it’s intended, the theme to a horror film in which the band are trapped in a mortuary full of Zombies.

Breaking off the eerie haunting leads for a minute, the opening verse of “Father” is some pretty solid if pretty standard Metallic Hardcore before those spiralling off kilter leads kick in once more and Joseph leaves your mind tied in knots. Speaking of his broken heart and resentment the slow Downtempo breakdown that proceeds the final vocal line that says goodbye is as pulverising as it gets. The Gloom is in full force with  “Lotus”, it’s Traitors inspired vocal patterning over the opening verse is a fine example of what the band are capable of but it’s when that breaks off for a Metallic Hardcore section after a menacing spoken word that the track is made. It gradually becomes the monster with some punishing Downtempo grooves and Slam vocals in final furious punch that you might not have expected. There is a strange 4-5 seconds of silence before “Smoak” starts which acts as a pallette cleanser if you haven’t double checked that the music is still playing. It’s pounding grooves have a hypnotic shoe gazing aspect to them before the return of the Slam inspired vocals growls of a closing Downtempo section that perhaps doesn’t need it. It’s the odd tune out that sounds like it was an after thought, a tacked on demo or something that was recorded in a different session. That being said it still matches up content wise so it’s worth checking out [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Abysmal
  2. Distrust
  3. Worthless
  4. Father
  5. Lotus
  6. Smoak

“Distrust” by VileGloom is out now

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