VILE are both technical and brutal, but they can’t be exclusively pigeonholed into either category. “The New Age Of Chaos” is obviously the Americans’ latest offering, and is the third such offering in almost a decade. So, answer me this: where have I been? Or, are these guys just criminally underrated? Whatever the case, if you’re looking for a brief summation, “The New Age Of Chaos” is a vibrant and, above all, an enjoyable piece of Death Metal.
Where should I begin? Let’s see… Ah, I know. The musicianship. It’s quite stunning. Yeah, along with shredding guitar riffs, inventive leads, and gruff vocalizations, there’s a flurry of adept drumming thrown in for piquancy. And get this, YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR THE BASS GUITAR! While it’s more low-end than the bass found on QUO VADIS’s “Defiant Imagination” – a record that brandishes audible bass – VILE spent time tweaking the production to absolute perfection. In essence, “The New Age Of Chaos” sounds better than 90% of Death Metal out there today, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better than 90% of Death Metal out there today, though one could certainly make a case for it. Still, the songwriting is what allows VILE to rise above innumerable counterparts. Basically there’s a twist at every turn, and when there isn’t, they wallop you over the head with speed-laced heaviness. Sure enough, though, when you think the quartet is going to bob, they weave, and vice-versa. “Worldhunt,” perhaps my favorite track, is a shining example of the former. The others simply distract with jaw-dropping instrumentation before they transition into another tempo, rhythm, or something entirely different.
Occasionally reminding me of Polish exports such as BEHEMOTH and DECAPITATED, VILE’s quills have not only penetrated the Metal world, but they’re worming their way into its flesh with thoughts of staying for a while. “The New Age Of Chaos,” considering the music, artwork, and meager-yet-acceptable length isn’t exactly “Best Album of 2005” material, though it is one of the finest, most innovative Death Metal recordings I’ve heard in…well, a long time. The sound you hear is VILE riding the escalator to the upper level of this particular subgenre. Congratulations, guys. (Online February 2, 2006)