Review: “Fever Dream” by Vilify

Formed in 2020 with the collective goal of using their art to discuss issues close to home and heart from both a personal and observational perspective, Newcastle Australian Alternative Metal quartet Vilify rose to prominence almost immediately with their debut EP “Clarity“. That found praise from Triple J, The Faction and Alternative Press to name but a few and with 67k of Spotify streams for single “Habit” alone the band waterfall released six singles including the impressive “Dread Addict” while sharing stages with Cold Era, SETMEONFIRE and The Beautiful Moment to name but a few. That era comes to a close with the bands sophomore EP “Fever Dream“, produced by Chris Blancato (Reliqa, Northlane, Resist The Thoughts) and mixed and mastered by Mark Williamson (Inertia) with the outfit promising a dark new day…

There can be no escaping the fact that Vilify have been working with Chris Blancato since 2022, their first single together being “Futility” but what’s interesting is that listening to some of their older material like “Veils of Grey“, his presence hasn’t brought about a massive style shift. Instead the devil is in the detail and on the surface at least, it feels like Blancato has brought small changes to the bands sound to help smooth over some of their rough edges, “Fever Dream” being the culmination of two years of work and a partnership that has already flourished with five singles. In all honesty, there is no reason why this EP couldn’t have been a full length with those songs on it because there is a cohesion between all of the songs as well as a signature sound that flows across all of them. Opening cut “Rot By Design” has a very similar crushing guitar tone and drum sound to those prior convictions. Laced with programming, anthemic rap screams and bombastic bass, there is an unhealthy dose of Nu-Metalcore, Deathcore and even Industrial Metal within Vilify’s brand of Alternative Metal, all wrapped in a spicy coating that feels warm and familiar. Refreshingly vocalist Amy Mcintosh passes up several opportunities to offer up clean vocals on the scorching “Light Bringer“, sticking to her caustic uncleans throughout and letting the programming provide the melody to her madness. A powerhouse offering with a huge chunky breakdown section and an obvious single, it demonstrates how good the rhythm section of drummer Kieran Jackson and bassist Lizi Blanco are at driving things forward with purpose and power.

Mcintosh is a woman scorned and spits venom in the direction of someone who has crossed her with the poison pen letter that is “Split Tongue“, a classic example of a song with a name attached to it. Chunky riffs from guitarist Deni Hourihan and 90’s breakbeats give a flavour of bands like and there are points where they are touching distance away from getting into Deathcore. Whether they would go all out like that is an interesting question, especially given the presence of blast beats on “Save Me“, a cut with some nightmarish programmed sequences. Haunting and evil, they help breathe diversity into the bands offering while pulling the discerning listener further into the abyss of ethereal darkness that is so damn heavy. Artillery shelling percussive battery provides covering fire as  “Hang.Draw.Quarter” plays out at breakneck pace, a brutal cut full of mosh parts and guitar squeals that feels like a call to arms. Lurching angular riffs once again circle like vultures overhead, ensuring that the record is all killer no filler with a real grit and integrity to it. If Vilify continue to grow in the fashion they have been then they may well find themselves in Vexed territory sooner than you might think… [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Rot By Design
  2. Light Bringer
  3. Split Tongue
  4. Save Me
  5. Hang.Draw.Quarter

Fever Dream” by Vilify is out 19th April 2024

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