» Blog Archive Review: Vibrion Emulate DM Classics -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Streaming

18121_logoImmitation may be the finest form of flattery, but actually being able to build off of your influences is another thing entirely. Such is the story of Vibrion, who wear their death metal influences proudly, but are carving their own path entirely. Their first album in years, Bacterya shows everyone how to put out solid, old school  death metal in 2016.

When I started Bacterya, I was convinced Vibrion were from South America. Their approach to writing meat-and-potatoes death metal was so reminiscent of Sepultura and met with the vile distortion from Entombed and Bloodbath, and the bark the vocals provided oozed the South American approach to writing extreme music. Turns out I was half right, as in recent years Vibrion relocated from Buenos Aires to Brussels and have since formed a new line-up. Close enough, right?

Besides relocating a whole ocean away, Vibrion are sticking to their guns on Bacterya. Right from the get-go, you know these guys love their death metal, and there’s no filter with it, either. Making this album something special, however, Vibrion haven’t released new music since 2002’s EP Instinct, and it’s been nearly 20 years since Closed Frontiers, their last studio album. Bacterya is long overdue, in a sense.

18121_photoRegardless of whether you’ve heard of Vibrion or not prior, Bacterya gets you acquainted fairly quickly. “Day of Replication” starts things out by diving head first into brutality. The production isn’t clean and the guitars aren’t friendly, either, but Vibrion aren’t going for that. They’re incredibly dedicated to staying true to their influences and carving their own path in the genre.

Bacterya starts out rough, however, as the first half of the album starts to become a bunch of razor-sharp guitars and blast beats all under an old-school vocal approach. The first half  isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard by this point in metal; it gets the job done, at the very least.

However, past the midway point in the album, tempos start to change and the songs become more varied. The title track slows the pace and lets you take a breather of sorts, but doesn’t sacrifice the bite of their music. It’s in this last half where things really start to come together and become more varied, to the point where one can appreciate what Vibrion are doing by changing things around ever so slightly. Most death metal bands would fall into the convention of only writing fast songs for an entire album and calling it a day, but when song lengths and tempos begin to differentiate tracks, it makes it easier to keep one’s attention.

564923That said, the tracks do show improvement over the first few and would have possibly performed better as another EP. “Circles are Closed” is a great penultimate closing track to the record, as it pushes the tempos and ferocity more than the other nine songs, and all under three minutes, too.

Production wise, you can see the love for old-school death metal come through if it wasn’t so apparent beoore. The South American death metal roots are apparent, but production takes cues from Autopsy, Morbid Angel, and Immolation. The jagged guitars that remind of Entombed are ever present, and the drums accompany them well, but haters of that approach will find nothing of value here. Thankfully, by my own standard, any appreciation of Entombed is a good thing, and the love for Sepultura is surely appreciated as well, in particular the Morbid Visions and Beneath the Remains releases.

Vibrion are holding up the death metal flag with pride, and Bacterya proves that they’re just as passionate about it as their fans are. Not ground-breaking and maybe a little over-stuffed, Bacterya should appease any needs for raw, unfiltered death metal, and win the hearts of any Sepultura fan it comes in contact with.

You can find the album for streaming on their label, Xstreem Music, and buy it through their Bandcamp page.

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