Album In Review: ANHEDONIA – Virulence
Who is ANHEDONIA?
Their name is fitting to the deathcore realm, meaning the inability to feel pleasure in normally, pleasurable activities. This heavy hitting 4 piece is from Central California, originally formed in mid 2017. Initially starting in the studio at Rapture Recordings in Hayward and growing into a culmination of unfaltering talent to include RJ Vargas on vocals, Andrew Holzbaur (formerly of Oceano and The Devastated) on Drums bringing you those brutal blast beats, Jose Jimenez (formerly of Salimus) working the bass and Jason Anaya on guitars writing them tracks like a fiend.
The band released a music video for their title track Virulence via Slam Worldwide back in July 2019 and has been growing momentum and the attention of fans and critics alike with no signs of slowing down.
I had the opportunity to see the band do their thing on stage along with Impending Doom, Suicide Silence, Pathology and the Mendenhall Experiment this past November and would have to say they are 100% worth going to see live.
RJ Vargas -Vocals
Andrew Holzbaur- Drums
Jason Anaya- Guitar
Jose Jimenez – Bass
Recorded / Mixed / Mastered: Cody Fuentes of Spite @ Rapture Recordings
Released / Distributed By: Dead Syndicate Records
Album Artwork: Caelan Stokkermans Arts
Band Logo: Imperfect Design
Genre: Deathcore / Metal
Release Date: 12/21/19
Available On: All Streaming Platforms
1. The Descent
2. A Rotting Existence
3. Unwakened Ones (feat. Alex Terrible)
4. Eternity of Flesh
5. Make Them Bleed
6. The Well (feat. Michael Hewat)
7. So Far Below (feat. Cody Fuentes & Josh Miller)
8. Woes of Reclament
Now lets get down to the nitty gritty….
You know those albums that are so angry, dark and in your face, piercing through your ears all the way down to your spine while making you tear up a little at the same time? This is one of those albums.
This new album features loads of guests to include Alex Terrible from Slaughter to Prevail, Cody Fuentes from Spite, Josh Miller from Emmure, and Michael Hewat formerly known from Drag the Lake.With the talent of the original members plus some heavy hitters doing guest spots this piece of work does not disappoint.
Virulence starts with an intro “The Descent” which makes sense. You are about to descend into a world filled with pure bitter hostility. It starts with eerie yet exciting builds up much like the start to a decent horror flick where the naive soon to be victim is wandering around the abandoned building and comes across something horrendously disturbing and then BOOM the killer strikes and everything fades out before the next track.
A Rotting Existence is the first full length track to follow and comes down with a hammer and fist with blast beats on point and about 2 minutes in the guitar comes out swinging extra with some mad riffage that keeps up for a good 30 seconds.
The Well (featuring Michael Hewat) is just a whole other level breakdowns and blast beats in a perfectly composed chaos. You can get lost in this track and it is definitely one of the ones you’ll end up putting on repeat. Imagine if you will the picture painted of someone standing in front of the mirror looking at themselves screaming with absolute rage before bashing their fist into it and cutting themselves on the shards of glass …as the blood drips into the water in the sink they are somehow now submerged in this dark pool of their own misery and rage as they drown, sinking So Far Below, in their own emotions. Or at least imagine that is what runs through my head when listening to it.
They end out this vicious work with the title track itself. Concluding the spiral in to rage fueled madness . RJ really digs deep on the vocals with this one showcasing his range between how low he can go and some supreme mids.
The entire piece is a non-stop in your face rage riddled 31 minute experience that you can listen to on repeat without even questioning your life choices. Even stylistically the attention to detail is not something that should be left ignored. This is definitely something they took their time with and they got it right. The mixing and mastering is pretty flawless having given this a good 10+ listen throughs before putting fingers to home row. Still hearing little things I didn’t pick up on that brought me an extra level of happiness when listening again.
These nuances that keep popping up throughout the track list surprise, just like the killer in the horror films. As an audience we are excited and relieved to find new ways to live the sound. Each time you listen is its own unique experience. This is a feat most bands do not invest in, or simply overlook as a way to incorporate more creative depth to their work. With all that being said I highly recommend this album for your ear hole related pleasure.
Into The Pit Ranking – 4.0/ 5.0
For More about Anhedonia:
Official website https://www.anhedoniaband.com