Virulence - _A Conflict Scenario_
(Morbid, 2001)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
Probably the only band on Morbid records from Boston USA, Virulence's origins say far more about their chosen musical direction than does their choice of record label. _A Conflict Scenario_ may be among the most "death metal" of noisecore/metalcore records, but it most certainly is manically experimental in that manner and sonic atmosphere that is not in even semi-traditional death metal territory. Speed-switching drastically and frequently seems to be Virulence's "big gun" when it comes to sonic battery; the jagged, frantic and manic feel of _A Conflict Scenario_ will likely mean conservative listeners give up after less than one spin of this twenty-six minute disc. Thankfully, for those who persevere beyond _ACS_'s peripherary, there is much more going on than mere clever technical trickery. Though grounded firmly in the art of shredding the metal/grind way, Virulence, as musicians, just generally shred. Period. Virulence's high technical ability is evident on _ACS_ -- it is unfortunate that their skill in using technicality is not as exceptional. Impressive though the likes of "Entrance" and "Cementing With Introspection" are -- with quick changes and fusion dabblings often spicing things up that additional bit -- it is the soundtrack to a tribal-percussion-infused, bad-river-boat-acid-trip that is penultimate track "Pipeline Dialogue", that gives me most hope for the band's future. Virulence are an impressive, diverse grind/noisecore band; they are more Cephalic Carnage than Naked City, more Cryptopsy than Converge; their biggest problem is that at the moment they are in the same league as none of the above -- and -I- think unless they capitalise on what they tapped with "Pipeline Dialogue", they won't be. Nonetheless, _ACS_ is a fine and bold extreme metal album, sure to satisfy your hunger if you're looking for something "stupid".:

(article published 12/4/2002)

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