|Viron - N.W.O.G.H.M. (Sonic
The album begins with an 18-second track called “Sander” which is a strange prank call. Immediately afterward, the listener’s ears are treated to a hard and fast guitar onslaught known as “Blow My Fuse.” After that, the album’s sound is pretty much established. Although the album is mostly up-tempo, there are a number of songs which display Viron’s ability to create beautiful slower melodies which are not at all lacking in dynamics such as the band’s namesake “Viron” and “Winds Of Valhalla” which is one of my favorite songs on the album.
The vocals on the album are powerful and on key. The singer has an incredible upper-register voice which compliments the screaming lead guitars very well. The only thing is that although the vocals are good, they’d be more affective with the presence of vocal harmonies. This is the only area of the album that appears to be at all lacking. But on the other hand, the vocals aren’t over-sung either. The song “Lucifer Arise” best demonstrates the singer’s ability to sing in an extremely high key while maintaining the aggressiveness of the guitars.
The guitars are definitely the driving force of this band. Even on some of the album’s slower songs there is still the presence of a heavy distortion. Except for the song “Winds Of Valhalla” which is very much acoustic guitar driven. Even when the electric guitars come in on this track, the complex acoustic guitar line continues which creates a unique texture.
The bass guitar work is right where it should be, accenting the drums and creating a melodic framework for the guitars and vocals. This is a difficult task when the drumming is the most complex part of the music as I have noticed here.
The drums are very rich. The drummer makes use of a number of different crashes and toms in extravagantly crafted fills that provide powerful accents for the guitar lines without overshadowing the rest of the band’s components. The style in general is very thrash or NWOBHM, which certainly fits with the band’s style and chosen album title.
An instrumental simply called “Instrumental” which is near the end of the album showcases the musical ability of each component of Viron’s sound other than the vocals which have their place in every other song. It’s really too bad there aren’t vocals on this song although not having vocals makes it one of the more unique songs on the album.
This album is very easy to listen to and is very well produced. However, other than a few exceptions (the songs listed above), the album sounds very much the same from beginning to end. “NWOGHM” is not a bad album by any means, but the songs are much more appealing when listened to scattered throughout a playlist rather than entirely from beginning to end.
Pretty good, perhaps the addition of backup vocals would diversify the somewhat repetitive sound of the album.
Reviewed By: Brian Grefrath