errorzone CLOSED CASKET ACTIVITIES Massachusetts harriers re-smash the hardcore mould Last year’s SELF
Destruct EP might have offered a mere four tracks in four minutes, but in that brief time Vein served notice that they were a band with the potential to turn in something truly terrifying when their debut full-length came our way. Now, after that tantalising taste, comes errorzone, where shit really starts to get real.
Much like their peers in Code Orange, Vein deal in irresistible but impossible-to-pin-down-hardcore, and (fairly lazy) comparisons are bound to be made with Slipknot – although the drum and bass clatter of opener virus://vibrance does beautifully recall the Iowans’ classic Eyeless. That’s doing Vein a disservice, though; there are far more nods to early 00s hardcore pioneers like Botch in the way broken glass complexion layers a multitude of screaming vocal patterns over a mathy riff, or spasmodic, jazzy mentalists Drowningman on the grind, stop, chug and repeat groove of doomtech, or the constantly, tightly wound precision riffing of Poison The Well throughout. There are even nods to everyone from Godflesh’s gristly industrial hum in anesthesia and Quicksand’s raw, melodic emotion on the album’s title track. Essentially, Vein have taken everything good from heavy music in the last 25 years, smashed it up and re-compartmentalised it into their own, ugly new form.
Of course, it’s one thing blurring genre lines, it’s another to make it this consistently brilliant, and there is not one second you would lose on errorzone. Hardcore is in a really good place, both creatively and commercially, post-Code Orange Grammy boom, and people will certainly be looking for more bands in the scene that can follow them into more mainstream areas. errorzone is a record that puts Vein in the position as the closest challengers to that monopoly – the Deftones to Code Orange’s Korn, if you will. Most impressively of all, they’ve done it on their first try.
If, like many people, you thought Conjurer had the debut album of 2018 already sewn up, then think again. It might be the first spanner Vein have thrown into the works of the metal scene, but, mark our words, it won’t be the last. Essential.
FOR FANS OF: BOTCH, CODE ORANGE, CAVE IN
Vein: hardcore’s new heavy hitters