Virginia’s own Vice Or Virtue is an upcoming Progressive Metal unit with some promise. The talented five-piece delivers groove and atmosphere as their songs dive through complexities. This is displayed in full on the band’s upcoming EP “Englightenment”, which is set to be released independently sometime this year. Gotta respect the DIY artists \m/

The band is most definitely a believer in THALL. They surround your being with heavy, driving music as the EP powers on. Ambiance acts a catalyst for the instruments from song to song. The band combines these elements to deliver some very interesting segments throughout the release. Every member of Vice Or Virtue brings something to the table in their sound.

The EP opens with one of it’s strongest tracks, “The Movement”. This song has also been released as a single that you can listen to above. It draws you in with atmosphere only to strike you with groove. This is true of much of the EP. The track becomes increasingly heavy as it progresses until it has you moshing with your surroundings. Great stuff. “Pariah State” brings a serious groove, both subliminally and overtly. It also hits with one of the heaviest segments on the release. “Book Of Lies” serves as a side step with it’s beautiful use of ethereal melody and driving power. “Resource” is THALL as hell before is becomes tasty towards the end. This track really shows the band’s ability to cover different styles. “Immokalee” provides some well written syncopated heaviness before carrying you out into a world of groove and atmosphere.

I have two main criticisms about this EP. First, it must be said this is most definitely a great band, but they do seem to be following very closely in the footsteps of bands like Tesseract, Vildhjarta (THALL to you sir), and Uneven Structure (THALL to you too sir). And to be frank, Vice Or Virtue doesn’t compare with these bands on that front. But it should be awesome to watch these guys grow as musicians and develop more of their own sound. Second, essentially it is safe to say the vocalist is good. He adds passion, energy, and drive to both his clean singing and screams. But the tone of his singing sounds so similar throughout the EP. Not much is switched up here making things somewhat flat. I can definitely see him improving on his technique for future releases though.

To wrap things up, Vice Or Virtue have a good debut headed your way. Bringing a tight fusion of heaviness and ambience, their music will likely please prog heads along with other metal fans. Keep your eyes and ears open as more info on the EP is released. No official release date has been made public so stay tuned. And while you’re waiting, jam the two singles above.

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