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Consolidating Elements With Precision: LET US PREY - Virtues of the Vicious Review

The New England unit come forth to make their thrash-infused, power metal stand.


With only their 2016 EP The Saint of Killers under their belt, it would be hard to judge the scope of LET US PREY's work as they prepared today's arrival of their debut full-length Virtues of the Vicious. After several spins through the effort, one can say that the quintet have made a staggering statement where their musical prowess shines above all else. How does one blend thrash, death, progressive, and power metal with seamless precision? Let LET US PREY show you how.

What looks to be a gruesome death metal record from the cover is far from it. Instead, Virtues of the Vicious presents itself as a rather glorious dose of heaviness that lets Marc Lopes' soaring vocals carry the energy high. Tracks like Halo Crown and Gruel Creation of Me are evident of said vocal performance, where Lopes hits Halford-like highs and takes it back to deadly growls soon after. It's dynamic performances like these that position Lopes among the best vocalists in metal today, joining the ranks of Phil Swanson (SUMERLANDS) and Brooks Wilson (CRYPT SERMON). These vocal shifts are present throughout Virtues of the Vicious and come complemented by a razor sharp guitar performance Jon Morency and Jesse Near, both of which shine track after track.

It's tracks like standout Murder Thy Maker where their work is held high. Spiraling riffs and brief yet engrossing solos cause chills down the spine, bringing one back to the elite guitar performances of ANTHRAX and KREATOR-era thrash. It's a bold comparison, but the performance warrants it. Guitars aside, the track is representative of the multiple elements at play, bringing together keyboard synths, pristine double bass drumming, and progressive structuring. Following the Murder Thy Maker assault Darin Moyen comes battering in with a cataclysmic guitar performance on The Saint of Killers.

Moyen wastes no time and rips away from the get go, keeping the pace at high pace with a double bass gallop that drummers should strive for. The death thrash tendencies are at a high here, allowing listeners very little breathing space as they pummel you down riff after riff. We'd be remiss to not mention Pete Rutcho (REVOCATION, HAVOK) and Nick Bellmore (Hatebreed, Toxic Holocaust) for their studio work, which makes Virtues of the Viciosu sound as crisp as it is deadly. The Morency/Near guitar duo is joined by a few notable guests, that being Jon Donais (ANTHRAX, SHADOWS FALL), Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD, TESTAMENT) and the late Oli Herbert (ALL THAT REMAINS), each of which bring their own galvanic touch to a defined sound.

In a time where the selection of new heavy bands is endless, LET US PREY position themselves among the formidable. Virtues of the Vicious is an honest effort sparked by it's ability to bring together multiple ends of the heavy spectrum in an organic manner, not forcing one with the other and allowing each element to breathe. From the opening riffs of Above The Vaulted Sky to the fading solo of And Hell Followed With Me, LET US PREY have put together a well-rounded composition of explosive nature, one that is sure to find you revisiting the effort time and time again.


Virtues of the Vicious is available now via M-Theory Audio. Order your copy HERE.


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