"Ion Vein"

By Colonel Angus

I have caught Ion Vein as the opening act a couple of time and on both occasions, they have put on a good performance.  When I received the opportunity to review their latest self-titled disk, I was curious to see if they could transport the energy and excitement of their live show on their studio recordings.  Well, the short answer is yes.  There is an immediacy with the performances on Ion Vein.  I have not heard their earlier albums, so I can’t compare this new one with those records but I can say that listening to this self-titled disk makes me want to check out their earlier releases.

I have a hard time classifying these guys because they have elements of thrash and traditional metal thrown together along with a little progressive metal and, dare I say, grunge (but not like Nirvana, more like Soundgarden).   This CD consists of the 6 songs that made up their 2 previous digital EPs along with 6 new tracks.  Even though the whole album has a similar sound, the individual tunes have a life of their own.  Songs like “Enough”, “Face The Truth”, and “Alone” stand out to me as the best tracks on offer here but the whole record is quality from start to finish.  I mentioned the Soundgarden comparison and I find it most evident on “Anger Inside” and that in no way is a dig.  If you were going to capture an element from that genre, then Soundgarden is one of the bands I would look to.  From the start to the end, Ion Vein is a relentless display of metal  played with determination and style.

The band consists of founder Chris Lotesto who handles all guitar duties.  He should be very pleased with his performance on this album.  His playing has crunch and heaviness but most of all melody.  Many of today’s guitarists miss that last part but Lotesto has the talent to make his riffs not only melodic but memorable.  After just a few spins, I found many of the songs stuck in my head.  And if that was going to happen, I would rather it be a tune from the self-titled Ion Vein record than some pop garbage.  Scott Featherstone also puts in great performance here.  His vocal style fits perfectly with the music and he pours a lot of emotion into his singing.  Drummer Chuck White seems to be able to handle any style of metal and his relentless bashing must put a real strain on his kit.  His performance gives this album that little bit of progressive metal (kind of like a more conservative Mike Portnoy or Bobby Jarzombek).  Bass duties are performed by
Brian Gordon who may or may not tour with them.  Either way, he does a good job and he gels well with music.

The good folks at Mortal Music unleashed Ion Vein onto the metal community.  It would be a shame if you didn’t pay them back but getting this disk.  I’m from the Chicago-land area so it makes me proud that we can produce some great metal bands and not only does Ion Vein (the band) deserve to be noticed,  but Ion Vein (the record) deserves your attention and hard earned dollars.