If Vein weren’t capable of greatness, would there be this much pressure behind them to succeed? After all, heavy scenes in recent times have prided themselves on giving promotion to only the best of the best, and following in the wake of Code Orange’s seismic shakeup of hardcore, Vein are positioned to do the same thing. But at least with Code Orange there was some previous indication of what they could do; Vein have a six-minute EP to their name, and thus the expectations to truly break out and come into their own on debut full-length Errorzone have reached fever pitch.
And yet, it’s hard to believe that anyone truly expected something like this, splitting the difference between early Slipknot and The Dillinger Escape Plan for all the bug-eye, animalistic destructiveness of the former and the surgical precision of the latter, culminating in one of the most devastating mathcore albums released in some time. And, of course, at only twenty-eight minutes, Errorzone is laser-focused for Vein to hit the absolute pinnacle of their destructive capabilities, and hit them with an efficiency that the vast majority of new bands could only dream of. Make no mistake, there will be hardcore albums similarly fawned over this year, but very few will sound as fresh and vital as Vein do here.
You get the impression that Vein know this too, given just how much they throw into this album and how much of that they’re subsequently able to make stick. Any band who kicks off their first track with a caustic drum ‘n’ bass breakdown makes that abundantly clear, but between the stabbing, violent angularity of Old Data In A Dead Machine and Broken Glass Complexion, and the snarling, more straightforward but no less feral metal of Doomtech, Vein are nailing virtually every territory they wander into. Even if this is less of an album to be analysed and more of one to soundtrack a casual face-ripping spree, Errorzone is easily the most interesting of those there’s been in a long while, and with a vocalist as utterly bloodthirsty as Anthony Didio, gnashing and seething all across the likes of Rebirth Protocol and End Eternal like a vat of gasoline thrown on an already uncontrollable fire, there’s an air of danger surrounding Vein with every crashing, dissonant note they play.
And that alone is enough reason to totally back what this band are doing. Not since Code Orange’s Forever has the hardcore community rallied around a band with so much enthusiasm, and considering that Errorzone might just supersede that album, Vein are already what modern hardcore needs. But it runs deeper than that too, as, with The Dillinger Escape Plan now gone, it doesn’t seem out of the question at all for Vein to fill that role of an inventive, boundary-pushing band that will go on to inspire countless after them. Think there’s no exciting new music out there anymore? Well, it doesn’t get more exciting than this.
For fans of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Slipknot
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Errorzone’ by Vein is out now on Closed Casket Activities.