Wednesday, May 19, 2010

V for Violence: The Cult of V (2009) Review

Sometimes it's tough to decide exactly which genre label you should apply to a particular group. Everything I've read says Finnish group V for Violence is a thrash metal band. If you listen critically to their debut The Cult of V, you'll realize they're not really thrash metal, but instead groove metal, or possibly alternative metal (I've never put much stock in the latter label, as I don't really understand what it means), with heavy influence from nu metal.

Of course, it's easy to understand the confusion. All of those genres are almost exclusively American--not Finnish--and almost universally loathed by the European metal scene. The geo-cultural origins of a band can often get them lumped into the wrong genre (see Alice In Chains). But V for Violence really sounds like an American group, from their name which doesn't make sense outside the English language, to their sound, to their image, to their liberal use of profanity (most European groups use little, if any).

As I said, their sound is heavily influenced by nu metal, particularly Slipknot and Powerman 5000. For some people, this is going to be a big turnoff; for others, it may lend some credibility to nu metal.

Don't let the nu metal talk scare you too much, though. They are solidly on groove/thrash ground here, but draw influence from the much-maligned style.

The Verdict: Comparisons aside, their writing is original yet consistent, and they perform with energy and charisma. The music is interesting, and the album seems to be about the right length, though most of the tracks aren't really going to floor anyone. Unless you're rabidly anti-nu metal, there's a good chance you'll like this, even if you don't love it. Though I've said nu metal is dead many times, it seems they have used strong nu metal influences for a new take on groove metal. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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