ALBUM REVIEW: Attila – Villain

Release Date: February 22nd 2019
Label: Unsigned
Website: www.attilaband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/attilaga
Twitter: www.twitter.com/attilaga

Rating:

Polarising and unapologetic, no matter your opinion of them metalcore quartet Attila have undeniably displayed a solid work rate since their inception back in 2005.

With conflict and controversy always around the corner for the group, 2017 saw the departure of longstanding drummer Sean Heenan, with Bryan McClure sitting behind the kit for their latest record, Villain.

Opening with ‘Perdition’, chugging guitars deliver their signature sound, and, whilst the track may serve as an introduction to the record, it also sets the tone cohesively. Streamlined and minimal in its structure, it leads straight into record’s lead single and titular track.

Getting straight it with low growls and high screams from Chris “Fronz” Fronzak commands you to “Bang your fucking head” as new addition McClure injects relentless double kick patterns into the grinding riffs. With sludge influences sitting behind Fronz‘s demented coda, the track doesn’t stagnate, instead it utilises brevity as strength.

Playing with squealing synths, ‘Blackout’ leans into their self styled ‘party metal’, complete with rolling kick patterns and chugging guitars. With Fronz‘s screaming in syncopation with Chris Linck‘s juddering riffs, the track adds a welcome addition to the simplistic arrangement.

Taking a nu-metal approach with ‘New Addiction’, sneering vocals and blast beats give the record momentum. From Fronz‘s erratic vocals to Linck‘s dizzying solo, the song displays enough variety to help it stand out and acts a turning point for the record.

With tracks such as ‘Still About It’ embracing rap metal and boasting a delightfully heavy chorus whilst ‘Toxic’ gives a thunderous approach to nu-metal, ‘Villain’ begins to pick up as it reaches its second half. Moving towards a mid-tempo industrial vibe with ‘Subhuman’, clean vocals and synth heavy soundscapes add a welcome change to the record. Whilst still keeping chugging guitars and barked vocal passages, the track stands out with its strong melodic backbone.

Closing with ‘Bad Habits’, the group step back into their signature sound, complete with jagged guitars and guttural vocals. Taking a left turn, the group uses a wide and catchy chorus to offset the crunching verses. Showing a diverse range of influences, the record ends on a high note.

After eight records, Attila have carved out their own niche within metalcore, but whilst there are moments of growth and versatility, sadly ‘Villain’ doesn’t give enough to separate it from previous offerings.