By Jonathan Smith
The debut album from England’s Viatrophy offers an enjoyable collection of melodic death metal tracks that only get better as things progress. Opening track “Lux E Tenebris” is a soft, echoing instrumental that predictably leads into the full-on death metal crunch that is “Mistress of Misery.” There is a definite metalcore influence in Viatrophy’s sound, particularly with regard to the many soaring guitar melodies on various choruses and vocalist Adam Mayes’ guttural (but not too guttural) shrieks and grunts. A sharp line is drawn, however, that keeps things on the heavier side. There’s nary a truly clean vocal to be found, and the heavy rhythms give the sound a powerful punch. As the album plays itself out the more ambient and progressive aspects start to reveal themselves. By the time “Seas Of Storms” and “The Ethereal Darkness” come up, Viatrophy have begun to show that they’re not interested in keeping things anchored to any one particular sound focus. “The Final Light” is where the band reaches its ambient high, and by that point, it has become clear that there’s a lot of death metal variety to be found on this record. Viatrophy is a refreshing listen, and one well worth checking out.