There are many who seek the coveted ‘big sound’ and few find their prey. Vicious Nature have that massive sonic battery that squeezes your skull and thuds your chest like a rocket propelled grenade. Their newest EP ‘VII’ is the latest addition to their armoury and the enemy best start heading to their bunker!
This Wolverhampton battalion of four have been developing and maturing for over five years now and their newest release is another step forward on the metal battlefield. Their material is brutal and dark but has a touch of old school thrash and a dash of panache if you’re a genre aficionado. The line up of JB Brown on drums, Andrew Southwell on guitar, Andy Pyke on vocals and Marc Culley on bass is a force to be reckoned with. If they had a mission statement, it would likely be a pointed finger aimed at the band name. Vicious says it all.
The EP begins with a tasteful intro that any god-fearing metal fan knows is likely to lead to something altogether more terrifying. And it does. ‘Rise Up’ immediately plants a flag with massive riffs, double kicks to the head and a gut-turning bass tone that is so good it gets a few bars on its own. Pyke’s vocals are delivered in bulleted lines underlining the mood and anger in the lyrics.
The third offering ‘Devil Calls’ is pure ‘80s thrash with a Lombardo-esque ride cymbal leading into a hooky, riff-driven belter of a track. This isn’t full on rapid-fire but nails that huge heavy sound that the album consistently delivers. The slowed bridge features a clean guitar line and slowed drum and bass parts that link well to the opening intro before unleashing Southwell into a dive-bombing solo.
Holding a listener’s attention in the middle of an album or EP is a challenge but ‘Twisted Psychotic’ is wonderfully subtle as much as a scud missile can be. The noticeable skill in the song writing is that it never becomes formulaic as is often the case with current artists in this arena. The track carries tempo changes and offers space for the musicians that provide depth and interest by the bucket load. The guitar solo on this track is delivered precisely but tastefully and gives an extra dimension given the dark subject matter being delivered by Pyke.
‘The Silence That Kills’ is beautifully ironic as Brown’s double kick beefs up the intro before settling into another slice of ‘80s thrash. Pyke’s delivery is more melodic on this track and his range is unleashed to great effect. There are ‘Exodus’ and ‘Testament’ elements in the influences here and Culley’s bass work is shudderingly powerful.
Closing track ‘System of Disorder’ is a live recording from their show at Wizzfest in Belgium back in 2015. What’s clear from this solid powerful track is that the band is more than capable of capturing their studio material and delivering it with the same musicianship and power on stage. This track seals the deal on a well produced, well crafted, well thought out EP that is worthy of continued listening.
Vicious Nature have released a number of EPs over the years now and this is their best. They have enjoyed a healthy touring life on their six year mission to gain a fan base and spread their material across Europe. ‘VII’ is a firm foundation for the year ahead and the battle is there to be won. Enlist, check them out and get a hold of this ballistic missile of an EP for your own armoury. I will be.
You can catch up with the band on the usual social media platforms and you can grab their merch and EPs on their website below. As always, support live music by going to a show and see the guys up close and personal on various dates in the coming months in the UK as published on Facebook and the website.
The Calm Before The Storm
The Silence That Kills
System Of Disorder