The once oversaturated hardcore genre has seen a creative resurgence this year with an explosion of talented new bands including the Boston hardcore quintet Vein.
Vein is a band that has been drawing attention from the hardcore underground with their intense, ultraviolent live shows. The band has been cutting their teeth on the road since 2013 and have spent most of 2018 on tour, including a European trek with Twitching Tongues, a furious North American tour with the Code Orange, and a slot on the infamous This Is Hardcore festival in Philadelphia. Vein recently wrapped up a small headlining tour and this past weekend, the band wrapped up a support set for the Deftones. Now they are set to hit the road again with Every Time I Die, Turnstile and Angel Dust.
Part of all of this relentless touring is in support of their recent full-length debut record, Errorzone, which released June 22 via Closed Casket Activities. If Vein’s 7-inches expanded play Self-Destruct was a glimpse into the band’s explosiveness, Errorzone is the full-scope demonstration of nuclear-level intensity that Vein brings to the hardcore genre. The result is a 28-minute display of sonic devastation and innovation unseen since Code Orange’s genre-shattering Forever or Slipknot’s groundbreaking 1999 self-titled debut.
Vein takes the nu-metal sound established by Korn and Slipknot, brings in some early Converge, and injects enough personality into the album to make Errorzone stand out on its own. Errorzone is sporadic, spastic, and schizophrenic in its all-out visceral assault on the listeners senses, much like Vein’s live performances. From the opening seconds of “Virus://Vibrance” Vein sucks you into a world of terror and psychosis. Anthony DiDio’s shrieks and screams take listener’s on a hellish journey into a world of a music that can only be described as the “errorzone” - a world that you were programmed to be afraid of. Ironically, the dark and terrifying matrix-esque world of the errorzone carries an unlikely sense of hopefulness, as DiDio describes the theme of Errorzone as “very introspective,” and “self aware, rather than hopeless.”
“It’s really looking within and reshaping your perception of yourself and what's around you — and gaining a new sort of power from it,” DiDio said. “Viewing the outside and the inside differently. Finding the beauty underneath the darkness and using it as a weapon.”
With the kick of a ‘90s breakbeat (Slipknot vibes are REAL) — “Virus://Vibrance” starts the downward spiral into the “errorzone” and continues to dive deeper into the extremes of both music and the mind with “Old Data in a Dead Machine” which grabs listeners by the throat and slams them into the ground with breakdown after breakdown after breakdown just to allow a short breath before the groovy drum intro to “Rebirth Protocol” sucks listeners back into the vicious assault.
The drumming on Errorzone is one of the many highlights of the record. Whether it’s the dizzying machine-gun speed of “Broken Glass Complexion” or eclectic drum fills on “Untitled,” drummer Matt Wood’s work sets the breakneck pace of Errorzone and lays the beautifully chaotic foundation for the album.
Despite Vein’s obvious obsession with extreme sonic assault, there is a soft spot for melody found on this album. The soft but sparse clean vocals show up on tracks like the anthemic “Doomtech” and “Errorzone” and act as a calming wind during a violent tornado before the whirlwind of riffs and background screams pull you back into the torrent of hardcore. The band’s ability to create melody while maintaining a frenzied sound speaks to the uniqueness of the band and their overall musicianship. There isn’t a lack of memorable moments on this album, such as the computerized, AOL-esque “goodbye” featured on “End Eternal” before ripping the listeners head apart with an onslaught of erratic guitars ripped straight out of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s playbook, or the anthemic yet disturbing chorus of “Doomtech.”
What Vein has done with Errorzone is take all of the strongest attributes of their influences (Slipknot, Korn, Converge, Deftones, etc.), wear them on their sleeves and create one of the most exhilarating albums of the year. Vein is a band ready to make the world theirs, and won’t stop until the entire world has entered the errorzone.
Diamond Growney is a freshman studying integrated media at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Diamond by tweeting him at @growney_diamond.