In a strictly medical and physiologic context, veins don’t get the credit they deserve. Sure, the heart does the heavy lifting, and arteries, branching into arterioles and capillaries are the source of freshly oxygenated blood to our muscles and vital organs, but veins? They’re kind of swept under the rug until you consider the completeness and complexity needed for humans to actually function.
Veins—the unsung heroes of human anatomy, and, in keeping, Vein (until recently) served as the unsung heroes of the heavy music scene—something that changed drastically with the announcement of their debut full length and the singles that followed. Blending hardcore, metalcore, mathcore and just a touch of nu-metal’s industrial side, Errorzone is a devastating tour of heavy music done insanely well; well to the point that thousands of people, in recent months, have found themselves wondering why they slept on Vein in the first place.
Errorzone is an absurd listen that borrows just enough from mathcore and nu metal to add flair and punch to their metalcore backbone. This is abundantly true from the first seconds of “Virus://Vibrance,” the album’s first track and lead single. With a spastic barrage of dissonant chords and hectic percussion roaming hither and to atop a firmament of ferocious, gritty bass, “Virus://Vibrance” sets the tone for many of Errorzone’s cuts, the title track and “Doomtech” chief among them. Other songs—“Anaesthesia” and “Rebirth Protocol” are less a full-out onslaught on the listener and more a precise balance of taciturn aggression and gloomy atmosphere. Punctual drumming and precise fills take turns with cavalcades of crushing, energetic percussion and frantically fretted leads, flipping from mind-melting chugs to what-the-hell-was-that inciting notes and effects that keep the listener on the edge of their seat. That’s what Vein are all about—a kind of unpredictable rambunctiousness that is so much more than shock value, as even after listens in the double digits, the listener will still fail to predict and anticipate all the myriad twists and turns Errorzone takes.
Vein’s intensity doesn’t waver with consideration of their immense vocal element. In a word, the band’s shrill yells and harsh howls are ruthless, as Errorzone has—for lack of a better term—no chill where that aspect of their dynamic is concerned. Some of the tracks towards the album’s back end—“End Eternal” and “Quitting Infinity” come to mind as a couple relatively laid back songs, but even those are home to verse after verse of shrill screams that rampage atop Vein’s vicious instrumentation. “Virus://Vibrance,” or “Broken Glass Complexion” don’t even afford the listener the illusion of calm or serenity; thoroughly abrasive and aggressive without any sense of care or ability to self-censor. This is all another crucial aspect of what I’ve (somewhat) jokingly named the “Vein experience”—a listen to an album that never lets the listener get comfortable (or even close). This is as true of their instrumentation as it is their vocal element; for while there may not be pig squeals, super-br00tal low bellows or zombie/whatever the kids are calling it these days high screams, Vein’s vocal prowess is unmatched in their field. That much is undeniable.
Errorzone is curiously named for a record with precious few—if any—errors. Vein came out of absolutely nowhere, propelled by the success of their debut EP and an insane work ethic to put out what is already being heralded as one of 2018’s finest records—and you know what, people may not be wrong. Chaotic, heavy, catchy and boundlessly creative, Vein supercedes the arteries and even heart of the heavy music scene, delivering fresh and furious heaviness to a community that definitely needs the new blood.
For Fans Of: Chamber, Orthodox, Bruise, Slipknot, the 1990’s.
By: Connor Welsh