Villians Review

artist: Stray From the Path date: 06/10/2008 category: compact discs
Stray From the Path: Villians
Release Date: May 13, 2008
Label: Sumerian
Genres: Hardcore, Metal
Number Of Tracks: 11
Villains is a nice departure from the age-old genres of metal and hardcore, fusing Pulling Teeth with Refused and Martyr AD.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
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overall: 8.3
Villians Reviewed by: PDMChubby, on june 10, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Talent in hardcore has more than slimmed in recent years, and innovations are hard to come by. Stray From The Path does a brilliant job fusing hardcore punk and metal elements without sounding like complete garbage, something I haven't seen since Converge. The music of Villains is a different kind of hardcore. Each song is different and you can tell. The stop-music/scream-lyric/start-music mentality is fully explored here, in songs such as Villain and To Vanish. It mixes it up a bit, and shows the power of silence that most hardcore and metal bands tend to forget about. The album is full of great, original breakdowns and the riffs in each song are utterly amazing. The band meshes well together, going from a speedy thrash riff to a slow breakdown several times. The sound does lack clarity from time to time, however. The production of Kurt Ballou (of Converge fame) has it's weaker points. The entire album has high levels of treble, which makes it sound a bit like an old cassette tape in a broken down Honda. It's an original sound for sure, but it makes it hard to listen to sometimes. // 9

Lyrics: Like any hardcore singer, the lyrics are riddled with ironic statements. In the middle of Villain, which begins like a ballsy '90s metalcore song, suddenly stops and, to the constant beating of a snare head, singer Andrew Dijorio belts out a groovy "Right now I feel so goddamn rock and roll!" and returns to the pounding main riff. Each song has a few treats like that, many of which containing growing, ad-libbed growls (a crescendo of "yeah!"), which remind me a bit of Zack de la Rocha's days in Rage. He's got a lot of talent and an original scream, which is a healthy and needed change from everyone trying to be Oli Sykes. // 8

Overall Impression: Stray From The Path has a lot of work output on this album. Some of the riffs are comparable to the likes of legends like Convere and Botch. The singer is no Jacob Bannon, but he's got his own style and it serves itself to this brand of hardcore punk. Villains is a nice departure from the age-old genres of metal and hardcore, fusing Pulling Teeth with Refused and Martyr AD. Each song has it's own special thing to it, such as Ataxia's final riff or The White Flag's interlude. Standout's are Villain and The White Flag, but the rest are just as enjoyable. Hopefully on their next outing, this incredibly talented and fresh band will have better production so I can further enjoy their talents. // 8

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