Following on from 2016’s enjoyable EP Enigmas, Vitae contains 11 tracks and 42 minutes of new material.
On the band’s previous EP I noted their energetic blend of passion, melody, and aggression, and on Vitae they continue to display these endearing qualities.
With plenty of heavy breakdowns and tastily melodic leads, the songs are well-written and once more clearly have the live environment in mind. These are songs that sound full of life and vigour, and the entire album is an uplifting, life-affirming listen in some ways. I can easily imagine seeing this band perform in the flesh and coming away quite fired up and energised.
The music isn’t without depth and nuance either, some of which could easily be lost in a live mix, of course. This latter aspect was one of the things that helped the band stand out for me on Enigmas – I liked how their tendency to have the heavier parts sail along under colourful, atmospheric melodies added a level of depth and feeling to their material. This is still a part of Vitae that I like, and I’m also glad that it isn’t overused either. After all, sometimes you just want to hear a huge crushing riff on its own terms.
A range of vocals are deployed, all with a firm emotive base. The delivery is largely based around variations of shouting, screaming, and aggressive barks, all of which are performed well. Clean singing does appear, but is used relatively sparingly for this kind of thing, which is good to hear.
As always with this type of music, I’m sure it won’t convince people who have had enough of the style. I can’t help but view Set Before Us as a cut above what most melodic metalcore bands are doing though, in part due to their obvious enthusiasm and the simple enjoyment that the songs bring.
Check this out.