Vile Insignia, may not be the ‘vilest’ among the big names, but the band has surely some afflicted and commanding sound under their belt. Their debut and only affiliation, so far is the EP sharing the same title as the bands. Originating from Alberta, Canada, one of the provinces giving birth to bands such as Revenge, Antediluvian, Axis of Advance and such, Vile Insignia chose to walk a different path, a bit progressive approach to raw and filthy black/death metal. That’s how I’d describe the sound of the band and Yes, the sound is obviously unique than most other bands you have heard from that specific style.
The EP starts off straight with a killer death metal guitar riff before breaking into a malicious and evil tone that continues till it experiences a change in scales at around 2:08 seconds. An absolute start to a solid death/black record. As instated before, the tone has a progressive notch to it, you can frequently experience the dynamic shifts in guitar patterns. Wait, the guitar is not as much progressive you may think, (obviously not alike Enslaved or Opeth), the progression is just a breeze around. The guitarist Don Atkinson has some damn serious skills with his guitars, and his almost flawless efforts can be heard here and there throughout this 35 minutes piece. Some excellent riffs can be heard on tracks such as Creations of Disharmony (around 0:38, 4:02), Smoldering Remains on the Sky (around 2:57, 4:06). The intro riff on Morbid Tales of Bloodshed can easily remind one of the early era Swedish black metal bands, whereas the track Beneath the Frozen Soil has some OSDM influences (around 5:01). The tremendous efforts by the guitarists, however been understated by drums. The guitar patterns are solid and varied throughout the course, but the drums are not as good as guitars. The drums consist of mostly double kick playing with occasional blasts and slight variations. The drum lines keep the music at good pace all the time, but it’s just not up to the mark if I stay honest. The bass guitars, however stay under guitar all the times, and so to say, the bass is as good as guitars although you can hear them occasionally. The vocals are good, delivered with mostly screeches and partly the snarling voices. The production quality is satisfactory (for black/death metal of course!) but you can hear some mastering issues, which could be done right, however, for a debut EP, it’s not even a big deal.
So to say, Vile Insignia has a pretty solid start out to their journey. The self-titled EP has shown some enhanced musical understanding by the band with its four track overture. It’s recommended to the fans of black and death metal as well as to the people having affinity for some extreme progressive metal! If you have the EP available to you, GO FOR IT.
Recommended: Smoldering Remains of the Sky, Morbid Tales of Bloodshed.
By: Somber Oracle
Stream the EP from bandcamp:
Release Date: January 25th, 2013
Label: Self Released
Don Atkinson (Guitars)
Jesse Nyboe (Guitars)
Cody Emms (Vocals)
Aaron Panich (Drums)