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Sonic Aggression: Vatican - Sole Impulse Review

Musical proficiency meets outright hostility.

Savannah, Georgia’s VATICAN play a highly technical and jarringly heavy brand of hardcore that hearkens back to the days when metalcore reigned supreme. These days, metalcore is a dirty word, but VATICAN have updated the formula enough for their take on the style to be a completely refreshing and formidable offering. With impressively proficient musicianship and mosh-friendly song structures, VATICAN are truly top tier in their execution.

Utilizing unconventional time signatures and angular riffs, VATICAN manage to set themselves apart from their more straightforward contemporaries in the hardcore scene. However, Sole Impulse is far from being just an exercise in proficient playing. There are enough meaty breakdowns to keep even the most lowbrow of knuckle-draggers happy. You can almost feel violence oozing out of your speakers when listening to this record. Fans of ZAO who aren’t already familiar with VATICAN will be thrilled to find that the band’s legacy is alive and well.

The vocal performance on this record is truly phenomenal and manages to sound positively unhinged. Even in a genre as inherently aggressive as metalcore, VATICAN manage to stand apart from the crowd by combining that unbridled anger with impressive riffing and metronome-perfect drumming. It’s truly amazing that a record that seems equally inspired by HATEBREED and DESPISED ICON succeeds in maintaining a consistent and focused aesthetic throughout its entirety rather than seeming like a hodgepodge of riffs glued together with no thought for the greater picture.

VATICAN is part of a recent wave of hardcore bands including VEIN and SANCTION who have added enough technicality to genre conventions, truly updating and modernized the style. What’s exceptional about these bands is that they’ve made this obtuse and impressive style of music accessible to both hardcore fans and metal fans.

FFO: Zao, Disembodied

Sole Impulse is out November 15th via 1126 Records. You can preorder it HERE.

VATICAN are doing a two week run up and down the Eastern United States with Long Island’s SANCTION, the dates for which can be found below:

11/10 Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Park Brewery 11/11 Chesapeake, VA – Riff House Pub 11/12 Winston-Salem, NC – Break Time 11/13 Augusta, GA – The Epicenter 11/14 Nashville, TN – The End 11/15 St. Louis, MO – Fubar 11/16 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews 11/17 Burnsville, MN – The Garage 11/18 Milwaukee, WI – X-Ray Arcade 11/20 Indianapolis, IN – Hoosier Dome 11/21 Saginaw, MI – Counter Culture 11/22 Pittsburgh, PA – Preserving Hardcore 11/23 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club 11/24 Baltimore, MD – The Sparta Inn


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