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Virus, "Carheart"

Norway's Virus want to create a sort of free-form heaviness that changes your perception of what to expect from the hardcore metal genre in an effort to promote versatility and variation. What they ended up with is a lite version of adrenaline-fueled pound and screech with a cross between Mike Patton and Serj Tankian on vocals. Which ultimately means sometimes the vocals are on key, sometimes nowhere near, and it sounds like that may or may not have been a conscious choice; but the music is stable, engaging even, with sadly very little change from one track to the next. Virus try hard to make the songs blend together into a congruous whole, with tracks fading into each other and combining elements, but the music is so derivative and the vocal performances often so horrendous that it's hard to find anything really to latch on to. Incidentally, where other import artists have stayed with their native tongue or tried at some deeper meaning in the translation, Virus emote through lyrics that are almost incomprehensible, with talk of screaming insects and "I went smilingly like a classic obsession" topping the list of sub par nonsense. This, unfortunately, also means that they are not all that different from any other Norwegian hardcore band that tries its cards on this side of the pond. Carheart is a valiant effort, though, and Virus are pouring their hearts all over this record. It just doesn't amount to much that hasn't been tried here before.



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