Vile - _The New Age of Chaos_
(Unique Leader, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (5.5 out of 10)
It was inevitable that the war in Iraq should become aestheticized in the grinding wail and technics of American death metal. Now going on three years, it's surprising that there has yet to be a more explicit adaptation than _The New Age of Chaos_.

Clocking in at a brisk thirty minutes, Vile's latest treks through the streets of Fallujah and Baghdad, offering a pallid recreation of combat with pellet-blasting drum rounds, guitar swirling into Mid-Eastern locality, jabbing through rigid hooks and excessive octave doubling sliding under guttural to rising vocal command. Annihilation is not mere tableau, but a desire that saturates every aspect of the album, expressed with mechanical technique and would-be ferocity through a reductive vision that declares: "It's time to do or die."

Putting aside the inadequacies of capturing the conflict in all its gory index -- by now we've all seen, or retain the option to view the animate details of a beheading, the psychic terror of which tracks like "Ritual Decapitation" fail to capture despite samples and re-enactment-type lyrics -- as well as the potentially thorny conundrum that Vile, or at least vocalist Juan Urteaga, seem to have no qualms standing aside the Christian fervor imbued within one nation's action as long as it's targeting the mad Clerics. Musically, Vile frequently lapses into boredom via bland scale-spitting and a flat production -- the worst I've heard since _Ageless Venomous_ -- being neither favorable to drummer Tyson Jupin or guitarist, chief songwriter and producer Colin Davis, who still more or less holds the album together, providing the only really interesting matter to delve through while more or less damning it at the same time. Jack Gibson, newly acquired from Exodus, retains a presence in this austere mix and momentarily perks things up with some spherical tones on "Worldhunt", though the dynamics are too little too late.

No one should expect something "original" here, but in spite of the caustic votives and attempt to branch out in performance, _The New Age of Chaos_ emerges a domesticated batch, all toothless snarl and routine of no equal to 2002's _Depopulate_.


(article published 22/12/2005)

9/1/2002 D Rocher 8.5 Vile - Depopulate
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