“Villainy II: Dim”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I am an old school metalhead from the Valley of the Dinosaurs, I must admit. 1977 to 1994 was the Golden Age and that’s where my roots lie. It’s rare that a completely modern metal album blows me away. Well, here we have just such an album and I think chances are good this might change your views about modern progressive metal.
Villainy is an exciting band from the Netherlands that will exercise both your mind and your neck muscles. These guys can play just about anything, based on what I hear on “Villainy II: Dim”. They’re about 70% instrumental in focus, but rough vocals do pop up enough to exclude them from the overdone totally instrumental trend. You don’t know what they will throw at you next! “A Familiar Wind” has you thinking this might be a jazz fusion influenced act, but “Nebulous Chasm” throws high velocity metal at you. The guitar sound here is clean, modern and mechanical and it fits the peculiar patterns of Villainy like a glove.

After this introduction, it’s off to the races. “Dwaalspoor” is a kind of Meshuggah-type chugfest with great riffs, “Jewel” is slow, crushing and almost doom/sludge in aspect, featuring tormented vocals.  From there, “Only I Have The Light of Lights” is more fusion-based and restrained but serves as just a warmup to “Valley”, which erupts with technical thrash that reminds me of nothing so much as Coroner.

This is great stuff because it always keeps you guessing. The overall approach is very heavy and extremely modern, but with frequent quiet or more moody parts. The riffing is just awesomely catchy and unpredictable….the last three songs are all very different from each other but similar in how accessible yet aggressive they are. It is really hard to define Villainy’s style of metal, but really, the names of Coroner, Cynic and Meshuggah came to mind.

Even if you haven’t heard anything new in metal since you ironed that Sodom backpatch on your denim vest, I really urge you to check this band out. They are insanely talented!