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Of Virtue - 'What Defines You' Album Review


1. No Control

2. Alone

3. Suffer

4. Immortal

5. Thanks For Nothing

6. Pictures Of You (feat. Kalie Wolfe)

7. I Won't Break

8. Surrounded

9. Torn Apart

10. Confide In Me

It's always a positive when an album title gives a reviewer something to work with. Right out of the gate Lansing, Michigan's Of Virtue ask What Defines You? And what they've got on offer is an interesting mix.

Where this album really shines is in it's details and quirks. The third track, 'Suffer', is a prime example of this. Pushed along by moody atmospherics, an almost trap-like beat from electronic drums and even tinkling piano; this band isn't willing to just blindly follow the Metalcore rote without experimentation and that's definitely something I can appreciate. A good chunk of all of the songs have an Industrial undercurrent, with various forays into clanging beats and no shortage of electronic instrumentation that helps set it apart.

That being said the flipside here is that when the experimental cylinders aren't all firing, the songs sag a bit too much into same-y territory. There isn't anything here that I'd call bad songwriting, everything is well polished and clearly written by a tight group. But lyrically there's no new ground being tread and nothing particularly grabbed my attention as stand-out writing. And musically some of the songs rely too much on old genre stand-bys, particularly on 'Alone' and 'Immortal'.

There's a good mix of vocal delivery on display here, with the cleans very melodic and strong. The rough vocals at their best resemble Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley but sometimes have a tendency to sound a little generic.

All in all I think Of Virtue have put out a polished, solid effort. But the idea of what defines them isn't quite fully realized here. If they were to embrace their experimental tendencies more while hanging onto their grasp of songcraft they could put out a really impressive piece of work. As it stands they get a three out of five.

Review - Julian Hepworth

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