With a sound that defies expectation, metal quartet VEXED have created a furious and fast paced debut in ‘Culling Culture’. With a range of influences on display and a streamlined approach, ‘Culling Culture’ gets straight to the point.
Following up from the brief yet crushing breakdown of ‘Ignorant’, ‘Hideous’ continues to capitalise on the promise shown already. Hitting the ground running, grinding riffs meet the guttural lows of vocalist Megan Targett as the track lurches into a soaring yet dizzying chorus. Playing with bouncing breakdowns, electronic glitches, and pounding drums, ‘Hideous’ delivers a concise yet hammering snapshot of the record.
Showing no signs of stopping, ‘Fake’ mixes rapid fire growls and double-kick led patterns alongside a sludge driven breakdown. A combination of metalcore, progressive metal, hardcore, and shades of nu-metal for good measure, ‘Fake’ corners a niche for VEXED to explore. The same can be said for ‘Narcissist’ and ‘Weaponize’, both revelling in controlled chaos as Targett unleashes a furious vocal performance alongside guitarist Jay Bacon‘s razor sharp riffs.
Whilst VEXED could easily coast on bouncing riffs, chunky breakdowns, and Targett‘s versatile vocals, ‘Culling Culture’ showcases many other ideas. Whether it’s the clean cut chorus of ‘Epiphany’ opening up the parameters of the record or the vulnerability of ‘Purity’, the record weaves various influences into the dynamically tight tracks without compromising on the heaviness.
Closing on ‘Drift’, ‘Aurora’, and ‘Lazarus’, ‘Culling Culture’ gives an insight of what direction VEXED could choose to turn to next. Slipping between moments of reflection, crushing guitars, and wide choruses, ‘Aurora’ not only displays another avenue for the quartet to discover, but also creates the perfect set up for closing track, ‘Lazarus’. A collision of sweeping melody and breathless descent into progressive metal, ‘Lazarus’ delivers a final bout of bone shaking heaviness before giving way to a peaceful conclusion.
A powerhouse of a debut release, ‘Culling Culture’ delivers a sharp and direct dose of modern metalcore without outstaying its welcome.