Album Review: Villain of the Story – Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns

There’s certain areas of the United States that tend to output certain styles of music, or at the very least, be the home city of a vast majority of musicians that rise out of the endless sea of aspiring artists. Many hip hop artists tend to call New York or Atlanta home and many of the mainstream radio acts tend to be from the sunny, more populous states (California, Florida and so on). There’s a lot that this ultimately has to do with — from population centers where there’s a larger amount of people who may have talent to the visibility it offers with music companies, agencies and more. Within the core genres of music, the midwest and rustbelt tend to reign king and as a group that comes from Minneapolis, MN, Villain of the Story are all-too familiar with the scene as they built themselves up from a local band to their eventual signing to Stay Sick Recordings. As they’re set to release their debut album Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns on March 3rd, it’s clear that this is a group that has matured and grown naturally throughout their brief career and this is only the beginning of things to come.

Editors Note: If you want to learn more about the band and the album, you can read our interview with them here.

[tw-toggle title=”Villain of the Story”]
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Stay Sick Recordings
Release: March 3, 2017
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play | MerchNow

One of the most apparent things that comes to mind upon a first full listen of Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns is that Villain of the Story have crafted the album that they wanted to. That is to say, this is a record that is rooted in the sound they’ve been creating for years, but it is one that displays their organically evolving sound without outside factors influencing it. After all, this is the strength of the band and it’s better to stick to your strengths and build on them, rather than over extend trying to change the genre, which once again shows a level of maturity within the band that many take years to reach. At times however, it does end up sounding safe or generic, especially in a day and age of music that constantly tries to innovate and evolve, but the balance, overall band sound and polish shake things up enough to make it an extremely worthwhile and repeatable listen.

Villain of the Story album teaser

Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns available now! Purchase – Facebook: Twitter/Instagram: @VOTSbandMN @Christian_VOTS @Logan_VOTS @Michael_VOTS @Sean_VOTS @Nick_VOTS

While the album is a relatively straight forward metalcore record, the vocal display on the record is insanely impressive and where the band truly shines brightest. Villain of the Story utilize the increasingly more common lineup of two frontmen, both of which offer different styles that will grace listeners ears. Christian Grey throws down the harsher vocals and brings the raw, intense emotion to the forefront with shrieking highs, blistering mids and downright heavy lows while co-vocalist Logan Bartholomew’s singing is very atypical with a natural, even-keeled sound that doesn’t feel forced or stressed. This vocal delivery helps elevate the band above many of their peers and gives the band a platform to create music around, letting both strengths lead the way. As mentioned before, on the instrumental side there isn’t much new ground being tread, but songs like “Dragon Sickness” and “This Apocalypse” use variety in electronics and subdued atmosphere to break up the sound.

Even though there will inevitably be the cries that this comes across as very stereotypical of what metalcore used to be, the end result is a record that is enjoyable and repeatable. Villain of the Story know exactly who they are and the type of music they want to make, and there is clearly an audience for that sound as their continual growing fanbase can attest to. With its huge choruses, well utilized programming segments and occasional atmospheric and somber moments — “This Apocalypse’s” ending and “Serenity (Interlude)” — Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns offers its own take on metalcore and is an album that will surely turn some heads, serving as a successful launching point for a prosperous future.

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