Release Date: 4th March 2022
Record Label: Closed Casket Activities
For Fans Of: Slipknot, Converge, Loathe
It wasn’t enough for Vein.fm to release one of the fiercest, most revolutionary albums in hardcore in recent years with Errorzone. The band have outdone themselves with their follow up record This World Is Going To Ruin You by proving that the concept of a difficult second album is a myth.
The five-piece’s sophomore full-length (once more with modern legend Will Putney in the producer’s chair) provides the borderline impossible balance that all dedicated music fans crave – more of the same, but with a fresh take. With the band’s previous release Old Data In A New Machine, Vol. 1 (which was the first released with their new suffix), a selection of re-imaginings and remixes suggested a change in style for the nu-metal inspired hardcore collective. For better or worse (better, definitely better), Vein.fm have retained their manic approach to modern hardcore with This World Is Going To Ruin You and refined it so purely that they have created a sound that is unmistakably them.
With less breakbeat influence than their debut, album opener ‘Welcome Home’ boasts a groove so heavy it is borderline offensive. With the track lasting little over a minute, lead single ‘The Killing Womb’ takes the reins and hurls the listener back and forth between disparate rhythms. Whether bouncing between odd time signatures and riffs so angular you’d be advised not to listen while travelling, Vein.fm have a remarkable knack for changing a groove at the drop of a hat. Even when most of the record’s tracks skirt around the two and a half minute mark or less, the sheer variety of content in each song is dizzying. The compositions are meticulously arranged to create a truly chaotic sound, rather than relying on the prog metal cheat method of playing in an intentionally complicated meter. Instruments drop in and out so rapidly it sounds as if the tracks are being edited in real time, and the dynamic shifts are so unpredictable, one can only imagine that all the individual riffs were compiled into a playlist and shuffled beyond belief to yield the final results.
Much like previous nu-metal guitar pioneers such as Tom Morello and Munky/Head, Vein.fm utilise guitars in such a way that the instruments are unrecognisable to the non-musician audience. With harmonics (both pinched and natural) and pitch shifted notes dominating the compositions, the band are going above and beyond to create a jagged, jarring listening experience. Admittedly natural harmonics in nu-metal isn’t anything new, but there is an added freneticism to Vein.fm’s delivery that makes it all the more baffling and impressive.
Yet despite an album that threatens to render the likes of Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan comparable to AC/DC, there are moments of levity and release. While this had been explored on Errorzone towards the record’s conclusion, these occasions occur more frequently across the band’s latest album. Midpoint track ‘Wherever You Are’ delivers a low, ominous piano motif atop washed out drums, creating a less chaotic but equally unsettling environment. Conversely, follow up track ‘Magazine Beach’ should remind listeners of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Sweetness’ after receiving a modern hardcore revamp (and what sane person could say no to that?).
As the album barrels towards its end and the two longest tracks are revealed (the closer clocking in at over seven minutes), there is a notable change in energy. Much like how Slipknot (an obvious influence on Vein.fm) would feature a track towards the end of their early material that ostensibly would be told from the perspective of a serial killer, ‘Wavery’ eschews the chaos of Vein.fm’s sound for an eerie, foreboding atmosphere, giving listeners an opportunity to hear the band at a slower and sinister pace. Luckily for some, This World Is Going To Ruin You doesn’t end on such an unsettling note. Final track ‘Funeral Sound’ would not be out of place on a Deftones album, drawing parallels to White Pony’s finale ‘Pink Maggit’ with its sombre tone. Opening with piano and an understated clean vocal performance, the track morphs into the cooler, less manic side of nu-metal with which Chino and co are normally associated as the rest of the instruments join. Easing the listener out of the whirlwind listening experience that is the band’s second album, ‘Funeral Sound’ is the final proof of just how accomplished Vein.fm are as songwriters.
It is astonishing how detailed and considered this record is. One would think that an album of such calibre would belong to a band long in the game rather than one who have only one prior full length release. The album cannot be faulted. It is unrelenting without becoming monotonous, it is frantic and chaotic without becoming overwhelming, and it is heavy without leaving the listener desensitised as the record progresses. Vein.fm have cast off their obvious debt to the likes of Slipknot and Converge to truly become their own beast, and one that is providing one of the freshest sounds found in hardcore for years.
Recommended Tracks: ‘The Killing Womb’, ‘Magazine Beach’, ‘Inside Design’
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